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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

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

>      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

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
> tip) that might increase the probability of escape as it scampered up a
> 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.