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Re: Quill knobs preceded by "superglue" cartilage??



On Fri, 01 Jun 2001 00:18:54  
 Ken Kinman wrote:
>
>       I was going to make a joke and suggest "superglue".  But that got me 
>to thinking, maybe "super-cartilage"?  Couldn't a broad strip of cartilage 
>be attached to the ulna (without having left any obvious osteological 
>evidence) that would have been strong enough to anchor feathers in early 
>"weak fliers".  Then perhaps quill knobs would have then been the 
>evolutionary breakthrough that allowed stronger and stronger fliers as 
>"quill knob design" improved?  Could this explain how Rahonavis got by with 
>such small quill knobs?

That's a good possibility.  However, there still may be osteological evidence 
of this cartilage strip, if indeed it existed.  Perhaps it left some sort of 
scar...something along the lines of a muscle scar type.  I don't know nearly 
enough about early birds and feathered dinosaurs to know what types of scars, 
etc. are preserved on their ulnae, but looking for them may not be a bad idea.  

Just because quill knobs are not preserved obviously does not mean that quills 
were not present.  I hate negative evidence...

Steve

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