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Re: AW: Heterodontosaurid with protofeathers
On 18-Mar-09, at 12:36 PM, evelyn sobielski wrote:
The really interesting question here - and it is one that is likely
to be swamped by a deluge of faux-feather headlines - is: why? What
is the use of such integumentary structures? It is hard to see them
as evolutionary neutral, so they are likely to have conferred some
benefit. What precisely did it evolve for?
If they actually evolved FOR something, they should at least give us
a good idea what the stimuli for it was (NOTE - I'm pretty sure this
"anticipated adaptations" train of thought is not how evolution
actually works). It would seem that the spine/back necessitated
protection from a rear attacker, with the tail often being in prime
position and very often adapted for deadly defensive maneuvers.
Assuming, of course, that evolution randomly happened to give groups
of sauropods, stegosaurids, nodosaurids and ankylosaurids
specializations for these tasks is telling also. If the
heterodontosaurid & ceratopsian structures are indeed hollow, they
could be analagous to porcupine quills. They also COULD be venemous,
something we'll probably never know for sure. YOU WOULD think that a
group of warmer-than-usual-blooded reptiles that diversified so much
over approx. 140 million years would produce at least a FEW poisonous
species. Here's to hopin I finished the thought I just had.
BTW, I didn't realize yesterday was St. Patrick's Days so I'm makin
up for it now.