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RE: Another feather theory



Hi everyone

Reading this, a question came to my mind. Could this evolutionary event also 
occurred in Psittacosaurus? Could the tail be an ideal place to have "feathers" 
for predators to bite? 

Carlos

> Date: Tue, 25 May 2010 22:46:17 +0000
> From: bigelowp@juno.com
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Re: Another feather theory
> 
> 
> One hypothesized route to flight:
> 
> 1) Origin of fuzz (small stuff) for display, insulation, etc., NOT for 
> protection --> 2) Evolutionary lengthening and stiffening of the fuzz into 
> long feathers, in order to give a predator more stuff to bite off. --> 3) 
> Later, evolutionary tweaking of the long feathers for gliding/powered flight.
> 
> Feathers are perfect for defensive protection because:
> 
> - They are not living tissue.
> 
> - They are light weight (little energy needed
> to carry them around).
> 
> - They are easily removed (less painful or debilitating).
> 
> - They are automatically replaced.
> 
> - They can grow big enough to fool a predator into thinking that it has a 
> mouthful of prey.
> 
> 
> So, it is possible that feathers didn't originate for defensive protection, 
> but they may have later evolved along that route as an intermediate step on 
> the road that eventually led to powered flight.
> 
> <pb>
> 
> 
> 
> ---------- Original Message ----------
> From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at>
> To: DML <dinosaur@usc.edu>
> Subject: Re: Another feather theory
> Date: Mon, 24 May 2010 10:26:22 +0200
> 
>>  When foxes and dogs try to catch chickens they get a mouth (or paw)
>>  full of feathers. So, the feathers make for a fluffy target and aid
>>  in the feathered one's escape.
>>
>>  I could see that might be an aid smaller birds but possibly not
>>  larger ones.
> 
> Also, it requires long and densely arranged feathers from the start; 
> that's perhaps not plausible.
> 
> 
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