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Re: ABSRD BAND on Sinornithosaurus feathers
<< Peach fuzz is a small enough change that it >could< have occurred from a
single random mutation that dealt with combining sulfated proteins into
dermal fibers. >>
Nope. Just because it's small doesn't make it simple. Shapes of body
structures are all under complex control by multiple genes. A lot of change
would be needed just to get a little scale-tip alteration. Admittedly, the
mechanisms of change are there (and understood) but there would need to be a
SELECTIVE DRIVE to get mutations to become fixed. Sulfur metabolism is
handled extremely well by other means.
<<We would need to examine the complete genome of a modern bird or two to see
whether this would have been the case.>>
<<the novel structure must have an immediate use/benefit if it is to persist,
and sulfate excretion could have been such a benefit.>>
I think the opposite of this, as I said above. Think kidneys.
<<Insulation, display, camouflage, friction with air ... All these are
possible proactive reasons for the persistence of peach fuzz after the random
mutation that created it.>>
And all are infinitely better choices than sulfur excretion.
I suspect you could feed any animal a huge dose of sulfur without killing
it (I'm sure the experiments have been done). The kidneys would compensate
the same day! To invoke evolutionary mechanisms seems beside the point.
Furthermore, I never did get it clear -- what the heck diet causes such a
whopping dose of sulfur? Insects? They are trivially loaded with sulfur, just
like every other type of animal. So, what source of sulfur are we talking
about anyway? Refresh my memory. I think I read the original paper then
promptly dismissed it from memory as highly improbable.
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