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Re: Whiskers

Amtoine Grant <ajgrant@eastlink.ca> wrote:

<Has anybody ever meditated on the thought of dinosaurs with whiskers, or a
whisker-like facial apparatus? The though comes to me as I observe the numerous
pits/indentations on anterior portion of theropod skulls near the jaws. My view
of [at least some] abelisaurs as piranha-like swarmers makes sense with this
idea, as it would serve to lessen tooth-to-skull contact with a partner.>

  There will shortly be work published describing the possibility of
whisker-like hair in some synapsids, and the corrollaries to such structures in
fossils. My only comments (right now) are that because whiskers are modified
HAIR, they are not likely to show up in reptiles. Similar tufts of feathers DO
occur in birds but do not have the same conditions related to them that
deep-rooted whiskers, which may leave marks in bone, do, as feathers tend not
to be more than skin-deep (obviously, flight feathers are an exception but even
then there are a lot of birds without such marks on their bones to relate to
the primaries in the carpus and ulna, and few marks on the tail bones.


Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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