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Re: Gregory S. Paul on Confuciusornis

Thanks Mike, but this says that the feather STRENGTH is "several times 
than that calculated by Nudds and Dyke. It doesn't say that the loading is 
several times less. 

This is a technical letter in a top quality science publication. The authors 
have to be very precise and very clear in presenting their ideas. Moreover 
methods and calculations must be repeatable.


----- Original Message ----
From: Mike Habib <habib@jhmi.edu>
To: "markpauline@rocketmail.com" <markpauline@rocketmail.com>
Cc: "dinosaur@usc.edu" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thu, October 14, 2010 7:12:12 PM
Subject: Re: Gregory S. Paul on Confuciusornis

The mass does not change the feather strength itself, but alters the strength 
relative to body weight, which is the key variable in question.  

--Mike H.

Sent from my iPhone

On Oct 14, 2010, at 3:46 PM, Mark Pauline <markpauline@rocketmail.com> wrote:

> In the new Science out this afternoon:
> Comment on âNarrow Primary Feather
> Rachises in Confuciusornis and
> Archaeopteryx Suggest Poor
> Flight Abilityâ
> DOI: 10.1126/science.1192963
> Science 330, 320-b (2010);
> http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/330/6002/320-b
> I had two questions about Paul's text.
> 1) "Nudds and Dyke (Reports, 14 May 2010, p. 887) reported that the primary 
> features of the early birds Archaeopteryx and Confuciusornis were too weak to 
> power flight"
> What are these "primary features" that Paul describes? How do these features 
> confer weakness on the animals in question?
> 2) "the shallow-bodied basal bird was intermediate in mass to the 
> Munich Archaeopteryx and the deep-bodied pigeon, so the feathers were a 
> number 

> of times stronger than calculated by Nudds and Dyke (Fig. 1, A to C)."
> How does changing the mass make the feathers stronger or weaker? Isn't 
> strength 
> an inherent quality that depends on the structure of the feather?