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Re: Feathers for T-rex?
"Sticht, Aaron" wrote:
> I think it is very plausible that at least the young t-rexes had some
> feathery coating, and possibly even ornamental feathers adorning the heads
> of the adult rexes.
Feathers need to be kept clean is they are to function properly as a
display device. How could adult tyrannosaurs possibly clean feathers
on the top or back of their heads? At least dromaeosaurs could likely
reach that area with their long forelimbs.
If feathered display crests WERE found with a tyrannosaur, this could be
good evidence of social behaviour. Lion manes are great display devices,
but I don't think it is a coincidence that they only appear in the one
group of big cats that live in large groups. The only way a tyrannosaur
could keep a PERMANENT display in good order is to have another tyrannt
groom it for them. Even then it would be a delicate process - like
trying to comb your hair with a front end loader.
Of course, there is always the possibility of seasonal displays which
were moulted after the breeding season. They may not have existed long
enough to require grooming, if the breeding season was extremely limited
(and some extant animals can only breed during a select few days each
In a large, solitary animal with limited use of its forelimbs, however,
I just don't see display structures that require regular grooming being
an advantage, especially where they can't be got at easily.
Dann Pigdon Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/