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Re: T.Rex Feather Skepticism

At 11:48 PM 9/15/2005, Michael Habib wrote:
Incidentally, in regards to the previous point about deriving precociality from altricial lineages: I cannot think of any instances of a truly 'altricial' lineage leading to one labeled as 'precocial'.

I wonder if ducks might show something approaching this - the sister-species to all other ducks, the Australian Magpie Goose (Anseranas semipalmata), and the screamers (Anhimidae), which are ducks' closest living relatives, feed their young after hatching, a habit known otherwise only in the Australian Musk Duck (Biziura lobata). That doesn't make their young altricial, I admit, but it does imply a greater degree of dependance. Young screamers spend much of their time in the water, apparently because they have yet to develop the ability of running and hiding in the reeds.

Ronald Orenstein
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