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Re: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage

On 3/9/2012 1:38 PM, Jason Brougham wrote:

The problem is that so many animals with so many different varieties of head 
coverings eat carrion.

AFAIK, animals with areas that are routinely (relative to total 'meals' consumed) doused w/ body fluids are limited to coverings of beak, skin or hair in those areas -- not feathers. So the functional logic seems to be well-supported by reality.

But your knowledge base and research resources obviously outclass mine -- perhaps you could be so kind as to supply some counter-examples?

In the case of Microraptor the diet is known to be small vertebrates - birds 
and mammals, possibly swallowed whole.

I doubt Microraptor could swallow a Confuciusornis whole, but should Microraptor (or any other beakless carnivore) be found to have a feathery snout, then "swallowed most food whole" or "ate non-messy food" would be reasonable guesses.