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Julien wrote:
Anyway, I'd be interested to know more about this hypothesis of yours, if you don't mind repeating it, that is...
That's where the list archives comes in handy. :-) In June 2001, I first proposed my hypothesis that protofeathers may have started out on the end of the tail as a predator evasion strategy (sort of like lizards that have colorful wiggly detachable tail-tips. The news of the bristly-tailed psittacosaur in August provided some actual evidence that this might be true. Anyway, here are three links to messages I posted on this subject in June, August and October:




------ Cheers, Ken
P.S. Oh, in answer to David's question, the key word was *need*. In primitive dinosaurs, posterior protofeathers may have been all that they needed for brooding, and the expansion of such protofeathers anteriorly to the arms may have then allowed brooding of more eggs. Not "needed" but certainly advantageous---like "icing on the cake"---and of course later aerodynamic exaptation would have been even more advantageous icing on the cake (and when mass extinctions strike, the more such survival advantages you have the better).

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