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Re: Sinosauropteryx tail colors

Don Ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Not sure I disagree (although given my track record it
> might seem likely), but wouldn't the more exact analogy be
> claiming that bone itself evolved as a "display mechanism"?

I wouldn't have thought so.  It's the selection pressure that's common here, 
not the mechanism by which structures are engendered.

In general, and as others have alluded to, finding support for the hypothesis 
that feathers originally evolved for display (and not thermoregulation) is 
going to be tricky.  The presence of feathers on some parts of the body (like a 
midline crest, or on the tail) and not others is not enough evidence by itself. 
 The absence of feathers on most of the body will have to be shown to be real, 
and not a preservational (taphonomic) artifact.  For example, there will have 
to be integument preserved *instead* of feathers, such as scales.