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Re: Thalassodromeus sethi

Stephen Pickering (StephanPickering@cs.com) wrote:

<I'm afraid -- let me rephrase the prelude: I am pleased to announce that
Mr. Feduccia's comments re: hornbills are not entirely accurate.>

  Fist off, it would be impudently rude to reduce Feduccia's contribution
to avian research in releiving him of his proper title, "Dr." He is both
an accredited and justly productive doctor of biology and has had a good
deal of research invested in the study of modern birds. In regards to his
book, what has really devalued his work in the eyes of the populace has
been the section on the origin of birds, little else. Just as any other
paper on systematics in birds, there is critique as to the form and
results, and this is left to those who similarly work on those birds.

<Their [hornbills] vascularized crests serve a combination of functions,
not the least of which is brain cooling.>

  I will have more to say on the nature of vascularization in crest when I
see what this research involves, but for the majority of hornbilled birds,
this casque is hollow and not vascularized at all, but rather forms as an
expanding pocket of trabecular bone with a sheath of keratin. The solid
casque of the helmeted hornbill, *Rhinoplax vigil,* lacks any ability to
affect the cranial vascular supply. This is true of most birds, and in
hornbills, unlike the cassowary, the crest is completely isolated from the
frontal region of the skull, but is a part of the
lachrymal--maxilla--premaxilla complex of these prokinetically-skulled

  Research on other functions of the crest and its detailed anatomy are
underway: (http://www.coraciiformestag.com/Veterinary/Tissue.htm).

  Cheers, (or Mazel tov)

Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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