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Re: New Papers

In a message dated 9/5/00 3:29:40 PM EST, dannj@alphalink.com.au writes:

<< I recently tried to imagine why non-flighing animals like Caudipteryx
 and Protarchaeopteryx would have benefited from feathered forelimbs,
 assuming they are not secondarily flightless (which is not necessarily
 something I completely rule out). I really don't see the logic of waving
 feathered forelimbs about while trying to run, it seems counter
 productive. It occured to me that if the forelimbs were held folded
 tightly against the body while in a fast run, a fan of feathers may have
 helped streamline the forelimbs so that they blended into the body wall
 more smoothly (smoothlier?). >>

The BCF reason that Caudipteryx and Protarchaeopteryx had feathered forelimbs 
and tails is simply that they were inherited/left over from a smaller, 
lighter, more volant ancestor. Certainly such appendages could have acquired 
a multitude of uses (signaling, display, yes even streamlining--though simple 
reduction could have obviated the need for streamlining) on the road to 
secondary flightlessness. The pygostyle of Nomingia is similarly left over 
from a more volant ancestor.