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Re: Evidence For a Feathered Velociraptor...
But I don't think it _is_ a correlation between quill knobs and powered
flight. I think it's a correlation between quill knobs and aerodynamic
load on retrices.
Exactly right, in my opinion.
We know there are other ways to deal with feather control and anchoring,
because there are modern volant species as don't have quill knobs
Really? Which ones? (I'm just curious, not questioning.)
It's worth noting that some extinct and presumably volant species, such as
Archeopteryx, have (at least so far) not been found to have quill knobs.
This has always been troubling to me, since the biomechanical advantage of
quill knobs seems to be to transfer aerodynamic forces from the feathers
through the skeleton to the animal's center of mass.
I would also note that concerns about damage to elongated ulna remiges may
be a red herring, since aerodynamically functional feathers on the arms of
an animal such as Velociraptor could have helped it do battle with its feet
while keeping its arms *away* from struggling prey. In battle and in prey
aquistion, birds will use their wings to bring the hind limbs higher so that
the feet will make contact first.