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Re: Theory Sez Flight Evolution Linked To Parental Care

At 2:54 PM -0500 2/1/02, TomHopp@aol.com wrote:

Regarding what little we have heard about Carey's theory, it's not quite the same as the Orsen/Hopp concept. By claiming a middle ground between arborial and cursorial theories, Carey probably gets everybody mad at him over one thing or another. Hopp&Orsen, on the other hand come down squarely, and in no uncertain terms, in favor of the cursorial concept of Ostrom and others. Still, knowing that future references to "feathers got long for brooding" will probably cite Carey, not us, as first to raise the issue, is frustrating. There is of course, always Jeff Hecht's news coverage of our Dinofest presentation in New Scientist in 1998 ("Let me take you under my wing") but that's not a peer reviewed article by Hopp and Orsen, is it?

No, but it is evidence that you presented it at a legitimate scientific conference, which counts for something.

I've seen Carey's paper, and it postulates a series of evolutionary steps, starting with beaks evolving as a "point source" to feed young and manipulate things to build a nest. Feathers then evolved to preserve body heat, long forearms with long feathers evolved for brooding (you're not cited). Then the feathered dinosaurs climbed the trees to escape nest predators, and started flapping on the way down.

It is not persuasive. For starters, other reptiles have beaks, including turtles, which the last I looked were not airborne. -- Jeff Hecht
Jeff Hecht science & technology writer
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