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Re: Lemurs and Feathers

Daniel Bensen wrote:

>>Following this lead and Richard Prum's paper on the
origin of feathers, I'm concluding once again that indeed  hairy or
branched integument was first (that is, all ancestral dinosaurs must
have been 'hairy' at some stage) and single (or several broom-like)
thicker quills sporting barbules evolved in arboreal forms to hold the
strands together and perfect the 'parachuting' effect.<<

Makes sense to me, but why give hairy feathers to "all ancestral
dinosaurs"?  Why not just the ancestors of the dinosaurs that flew?  Or was
I misinterpreting the text?

What Luis is driving at (or I may be putting words in his mouth) is that in ancestral coelurosaurs the hairy feathers covered the entire body - like mammalian hair (and for the exact same purpose - insulation). The hairy feathers on the arms became modified for the sifaka-like parachuting function in arboreal theropods.



Timothy J. Williams

USDA/ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

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