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Re: Feathers for T-rex?
HP Holtz brings up some good points. Simpler display structures, like an
erectable 'hackles' of filaments along the back of the neck or spine,
may not have required grooming. Now there's an image: a cranky
tyrannosaur making itself look even more imposing by raising a dorsal
strip of protofeathers.
I still don't like the idea of a crest on the head though (which many
artists seem to insist on including with many dinosaur species). Most
carnivores tend to have short integument, or none at all, if they are
likely to be plunging their heads into carcasses.
Lion manes seem to be the exception; although perhaps by feeding before
the rest of the pride, mature males may not have to go 'innard fishing',
since they get to eat the more highly prized portions first (like the
leg muscles). Plus they have a bevy of females to groom them where they
can't reach (which, given the flexibility of cats, would seem to be few
So perhaps large theropods COULD have sported simpler display structures
without the need to groom them constantly (although I'm guessing we'll
never see a tyrannosaur specimen with a peacock-like tail).
Dann Pigdon Australian Dinosaurs:
GIS / Archaeologist http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia http://www.alphalink.com.au/~dannj/