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RE: Cretaceous feathers

> As you said in a previous message,
> confuciusornithids have a pygostyle, but no
> rectrices.  In fact, it has been argued (by Rayner,
> I think, and maybe others) that the tail of
> confuciusornithids played absolutely no role in
> flight. 

I would not go as far as "absolutely", but their
contribution to gaining lift or changing direction was
certainly close to zero. What wouldn't surprise me is
if they were vortex generators or other boundary layer
stuff. (I think they were too fuzzy to be 

> Since _Caudipteryx_ and _Protarchaeopteryx_ have a
> distal rectricial "frond", the formation of a
> pygostyle-like structure by _Nomingia_ may actually
> have eliminated those rectrices attached to the
> distal caudals.

Interesting thought.

> (in the Ostrom Symposium volume)

"New Perspectives on the Origin and Early Evolution of
(Does anyone have scans of some papers from this and
the SAPE Brodkorb symposium? I found these two very
hard to get, particularly the latter; it is rare in
our libraries)



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