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Re: Microraptor biplanes?

Interesting concept and good (fortuitous) observation). I have not personally observed any birds doing such and I have glanced through several bird guides looking for the characteristic. The suggestion toward self thermoregulation in the dromaeosaurs is obvious by this characteristic. Obviously the Luis Rey painting is just accurate conjecture combined wonderful insight and study into the issues. The jury is still out regarding thermoregulation (which I believe a naked belly for brooding would suggest). I am strongly in the BAD camp and believe that many dinos thermoregulated. Luis' illustrations are truly worth a thousand words. The biplane concept has legs to stand on (so to speak) too. There is no reason why properly designed and oriented feathers would interfere with locomotion on the ground. Macaws have huge long stiff downward pointed feathers on their tail but walk about fairly well (as it were). They don't back up very well however and tend to turn around to go in reverse. I suspect that the orientation of leg feathers on a biplane style would tend to originate on the back of the leg and bunch up (like a macaw tail when they walk) so as not to get in the way. The microraptor could unfurl them at a whim and use them to increase lift and enhance steering.

Frank (Rooster) Bliss
MS Biostratigraphy
Weston, Wyoming

On Oct 15, 2005, at 1:50 AM, Dann Pigdon wrote:

frank bliss wrote:

Are the big stomachs a reflection of the buddist chinese influence or just a lot of fast food and fermenting berries? I take it you are in the BAD column since you are doing BAD art. Seriously though, would the bald stomach be useful in brooding eggs or should there be some down down there? Short of an African Grey Parrot I used to have that would pluck himself bald, is there a modern analogue of the bald belly extant?

It just so happens that the October page of the calendar on my wall shows a grey fantail from the Northern Territory here in Australia feeding its tiny chicks. It has a very prominent bald, pink belly. I believe many birds pluck their belly feathers out while brooding, to line the nest with them and to allow more efficient heat transfer to incubate the eggs.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist         http://heretichides.soffiles.com
Melbourne, Australia        http://www.geocities.com/dannsdinosaurs