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RE: Sinosauropteryx feathers?
>> It's been suggested that body contour feathers are purely
aerodynamic, but a book I have says the are better for insulation and
impact protection than fibrous structures. Is this true (or relevant)?<<
[I'll let other people talk about the fossils---which are the things
that really matter]
I really wonder about the insulation thing, since penguins seem to do
fine without contour feathers---but then again maybe their blubber plays
a role here.
In any case, though. Insulation need not be an issue, since
Sinosauropteryx did not live a particularly cold environment.
In the end, it seems that there isn't a vast amount of concrete data
either way in this argument---but the data that _is_ there, whether your
criteria are based upon function, phylogeny, or fossils, all seems to
point toward fuzz and not contour feathers on Sinosauropteryx.