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Re: epidermal structures.

Alan Brush wrote:
<<we have become sloppy with some important definitions>>
Sorry Alan, I was just trying to emphasize the possible commonality of many 
pelage-like things. Fortunately for us all, I'm probably the only one (at 
present) who thinks feathers and teeth have anything in common.

<< One significant difference between feathers and scales is that feathers 
are tubular and scales are planer. The surfaces are probably not homologous. 
There is no evidence that scales are transformed into feathers or that 
feathers are transformed into scales. >>
Though I know your ornithological knowledge is extensive, I think you may 
have missed a detail. I recall having seen photographs of bird scales that 
have feathery tips. I don't recall which species, but I think it may have 
been an arctic owl. Given such half-scale half-feather entities, it becomes 
obvious that somehow the two must share a common ancestral structure, and the 
tubular and planar structures are interconvertable. These days, I'm starting 
to suspect the tubular, pointy structure came first, then flattened later to 
yield scales. Why not?

Thomas P. Hopp
Author of DINOSAUR WARS, a science fiction novel published by iUniverse
Now Humans are the Endangered Species!  http://members.aol.com/dinosaurwars