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Re: Sinosauropteryx tail colors



T. Michael Keesey wrote:
> On Wed, Jan 27, 2010 at 8:12 PM, Jura <pristichampsus@yahoo.com> wrote:
>> This is purely speculative, but if it was originally evolved for
>> display, then perhaps the display was that of a warning. Perhaps the
>> animals used these protofeathers as a way to appear larger to rivals, or
>> to potential predators.
>
> I dunno -- here's a question: what purpose do ringed tails serve in
> extant animals that have them? (Do we even know? I seriously have no
> idea.)

And this presupposes that the ringed tail themselves are a feature being
selected for, rather than an epiphenomenon generated by patterning on the
rest of the body being wrapped aound the narrow part.

Watching cats and lemurs I would imagine that ringed tails are used in
some form of intraspecific signaling in those species, but ringed tails
are common across squamates (for instance) and I'm not sure if and how
they are used there.

-- 
Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
Email: tholtz@umd.edu   Phone: 301-405-4084
Office: Centreville 1216
Senior Lecturer, Vertebrate Paleontology
Dept. of Geology, University of Maryland
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/
Fax: 301-314-9661

Faculty Director, Earth, Life & Time Program, College Park Scholars
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite/
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Mailing Address:        Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
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