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Re: ABSRD BAND on Sinornithosaurus feathers
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Thursday, March 15, 2001 5:27 PM
Subject: Re: ABSRD BAND on Sinornithosaurus feathers
> In a message dated 3/15/01 10:20:24 AM EST, email@example.com writes:
> << If every stage in the
> evolution of a morphological structure has to be adaptive, then it is
> difficult to fathom how a simple hollow cylinder or a pine needle-like
> branching structure can be functional in an animal. >>
> As usual, they overlook the obvious solution to this conundrum: the
> of Sinosauropteryx and some of the other Liaoning theropods are derived
> more birdlike feathers such as those seen in the earlier Archaeopteryx.
There is an even simpler, IMHO even more obvious, solution: just about any
shape is perfect for getting rid of excess sulphur-rich protein, and
hairlike shapes are, as we know, just fine for insulation.
Weight reduction in a solid plate might (if it would occur at all, which is
counterintuitive in a surface used for gliding) produce a net-like shape,
but not an open branched one.
HP Thomas R. Holtz answered:
> Actually, they are ignoring something even more fundamental, which is the
> actual way feathers develop in living birds. [...] see, for example,
> [...] Feathers are really a lot
> weirder than you think they are in the way they grow: a strange
> conveyer-belt like mechanism that adds the accessory structures onto the
> main shaft during development.
Great article! Thanks a lot for the link!!!