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WAIR question

This subject (WAIR) was already mentionned onlist in october(?) 2001, IIRC 
without being "formally" named (DML naming, I mean). If WAIR is a fairly good 
theory for the origins of wingstroke and then flight, it implies that feathers 
came first (I can't imagine a small theropod flapping thin feartherless arms to 
help it climb a tree, seems useless, IMHO, and a loss of energy). For what 
primary purpose, then, did the feathers first arise (and when, as it must take 
time to change the function of a newly acquired character, if *Archie* is 
middle late Jurassic, then it must have happened in early to middle Jurassic if 
not late Triassic)?