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Re: Letters in the new Discover issue

I thought it was interesting exchange. Asymmetric feathers are NOT required for flight. What they do do, when present, is allow the feather shaft of a flight feather to be slightly less robust, and they also reduce the biological cost of the moult. In other words, there is a selective pressure that drives their development, but it is a convenience for flight, not a requirement, and its presence is not an indicator of flight. Nor is its absence necessarily an indicator of flightlessness.

----- Original Message ----- From: <mkirkaldy@aol.com>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, July 25, 2005 3:45 PM
Subject: Letters in the new Discover issue

Check out the letters section of the August Discover Magazine - "Preparing for Takeoff"
for a delicious exchange of ideas between Stephen Czerkas and Mark Norell.