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RE: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage
Yes, that is a nice functional idea. The problem is that so many animals with
so many different varieties of head coverings eat carrion.
In the case of Microraptor the diet is known to be small vertebrates - birds
and mammals, possibly swallowed whole.
From: Don Ohmes [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, March 09, 2012 1:27 PM
To: Jason Brougham; email@example.com
Subject: Re: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage
On 3/9/2012 9:36 AM, Jason Brougham wrote:
>> Therefore don't you agree that the hypothesis that is most consistent
>> > with the evidence is that of a bare distal rostrum?
Feathery snouts do seem an unlikely condition in beakless carnivores
that eat prey large enough to be messy. Carrion birds AFAIK strongly
support the underlying functional concept -- a bird (G. babatus) that
specializes in bone-eating has a feathered head, and G. angolensis is
likewise feathery -- the many vultures that specialize in accessing soft
tissue in larger carcasses do not have feathers where they will
routinely be coated w/ fluids.
Heh. Checking my perceptions about the generally featherless condition
of vulture heads uncovered a prank -- typing "vultures" in the Wikipedia
search box re-directs one to the page on "parliaments". :D