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Re: Longipteryx chaoyangensis (Aves, Enantiornithes?)



>>I'm still waiting for the first report of quill
nodes on some small flightless feathered theropod!<<

> May perhaps come anytime. *Archaeo-* and *Caudipteryx* are said not to
have quill knobs, but those of *Rahonavis* are so tiny that probably nobody
has yet really looked for them ones in the first two.>

These were all flyers, so quill knobs should be expected. What I am
anticipating is evidence of quill knobs on feathered theropods outside
Avialae--those non-flying maniraptorans such as Protarchaeopteryx or its
relatives. I anticipate such evidence will be found if selection were
favoring an aerodynamic function for feathers prior to the evolution of
powered flight (such as gliding or assisted leaping or manueverability,
etc). An early innovation in feather design under those selection pressures
would be the anchoring of the feather shaft to bone to transfer the
aerodynamic forces into lift and thrust. Without such an anchor, elongated
feathers would be pretty useless aerodynamically.

PTN