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Re: FEATHERS FOR T-REX



Ken Kinman wrote:

>      I suspect adult tyrannosaurs (and a lot of other early coelurosaurs)
> probably took "dust baths".  And maybe an occasional wallowing in the mud if
> the insects were tormenting them.  If tyrannosaurs did have something like a
> protofeather crest (on the head, spine, and/or tail; or even sparsely on
> other areas), I think dust baths would have sufficed.  Precision preening or
> oiling would probably have been unnecessary.

> paleo_mont wrote:

> >3. In present day situations there is no animal that loses its fur or

> >feathers as it grows.

The Sumatran rhinoceros is the smallest, hairiest, and most endangered
rhinoceros in the world (with perhaps 300 left in the wild).  It is hairier as a
newborn calf, and becomes less hairy as it matures.  It takes mud baths more
frequently than other rhinos.  A Sumatran rhinoceros pair gave birth to a calf
just last year at the Cincinnati Zoo.

Some people are known to lose hair as they age, too.  (The truth hurts)!  I am
unclear on the adaptive value of this trait in humans, unless it is to advertise
one's advancing age, suggestive of superlative survival skills.  Perhaps it is a
display feature that plays a part (or at one time played a part) in mate
selection, Rogaine commercials notwithstanding.

Whether this has applications to _T. rex_ integument is anybody's guess.

----------Ralph W. Miller III
               ralph.miller@alumni.usc.edu

"Hey fella -- nice genes!"