>Well, it won't fly! As part of my dissertation I studied the >metabolism,
>cardiovascular performance, and thermoregulation of >California Quail
>(Callipepla californica). As part of the experimental >procedure I
>compared the metabolism of feathered birds with that of >birds with the
>feathers removed. In the thermoneutral zone the 2 were >identical. As soon
>as the ambient temperature fell below the lower critical >temperature the
>metabolism of the defeathered birds shot up rapidly and >reached maximum
>(equivalent to that in flying birds) are much higher >temperatures than
>feathered individuals. This means that the defeatherd >birds were
>compensating unsuccessfully for the loss of insulation.
I wonder, with such studies would it be possible to make a formula that estimates at what body size feathers become unneeded to retain body heat? That could help solve the problem of what size to stop giving theropods a full covering of feathers.
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>Mystic, CT. 06355