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Re: Feather origin hypothesis (for predator evasion??)



>      I have no idea if this has ever been proposed (I would think someone
> somewhere would have proposed it as a possibility, but not sure if it
has).

AFAIK it has not been proposed, because:

> [...]
>      It seems to me the most expendable part of reptiles and many other
> animals is the tail, and various lizards use a brighter colored tail tip
> and/or very detachable wiggly one as a sacrifice well worth escaping a
> predator with one's life and minimal damage.

Yeah, lizards, that don't need their tail ends for much and can _regrow_
them. Not bipedal dinosaurs that needed a tail with a fixed length for
balancing

>      Before feathers were exapted for insulation, brooding, display,
> gliding, flying, or anything else, could feathers have originally appeared
> at the end of theropod (pre-dino-bird) tails as a predator evasion
strategy?

BTW, brooding explains only wing feathers, display, gliding and flying
explain wing and tail feathers, and insulation explains protofeathers, down
and contour feathers, that's not all the same.

>      Couldn't small theropods have used similar strategies, and perhaps
> increased it effectiveness by growing a protofeathered tail extension
> (perhaps colored to divert attention more effectively to an expendable
tail
> tip) that might increase the probability of escape as it scampered up a
tree
> or down a hole.

Putting poison into it, say, would IMHO have been much more effective...

>      Lengthening the protofeathers and growing them up the tail may have
> enhanced the success of such a strategy, and as they spread up the back

Why should they have spread?

> Or even eye spots on such tail
> feathers as a means to briefly startle a predator?

Now _this_ is much more probable IMHO, but it falls under display and cannot
explain protofeathers, down and contour feathers.