[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Sinosauropteryx tail colors



Hi!

"Feathers are by nature useful for insulation, but in the absence of showy fans or crests as exemplified by compsognathids like *Sinosauropteryx*, what display advantage would they have over plain scales? "Naked" scaley reptiles can be perfectly bright and colorful on their own; no novel structures are needed."

Without any colors any sort of feathering would enlarge the shape of it's bearer. Since size _is_ a factor when it comes to choosing someone to mate with in many species, feathers could help just because they make the animal look larger for potential partners. Speaking of *Microraptor*: wouldnt those leg-feathers qualify as "structures rather expensive to grow, showing the fitness of the individual" - display structures?

Greets!
TooTs


----- Original Message ----- From: "Saint Abyssal" <saint_abyssal@yahoo.com>
To: "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, January 28, 2010 4:39 AM
Subject: Re: Sinosauropteryx tail colors


The article Dr. Holtz linked to reports one of the paleontologists as saying that he believes that feathers were used for color-utilizing sexual displays before being exapted for insulatory purposes and later flight. Am I the only one who thinks the "display to insulation" scenario sounds backwards? Feathers are by nature useful for insulation, but in the absence of showy fans or crests as exemplified by compsognathids like *Sinosauropteryx*, what display advantage would they have over plain scales? "Naked" scaley reptiles can be perfectly bright and colorful on their own; no novel structures are needed.

Further, if the original and primary purposes of plumage *was* display, wouldn't we expect the most primitive feathered dinosaurs to have showier structures like the tail fans of *Caudipteryx* or *Nomingia* and more derived forms gaining the *Sinosauropteryx*-like fuzzy insulatory structures? Instead the reverse seems true.

~ Abyssal