[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]
Re: Microraptor Had Iridescent Plumage
On 3/9/2012 2:58 PM, Jason Brougham wrote:
But that's not my real disagreement with your hypothesis, really it's sort of
the converse - that we have no reason to suspect bare heads OR carrion feeding
in Microraptor. We have positive evidence of diets of small game. Not
Confuciusornis, smaller enantiornithines. We know Microraptor's closest
relative Sinornithosaurus did not have a bare head either.
I haven't advanced or implied any hypothesis or speculation relative to
carrion-eating, or bare-heads, in Microraptor. Actually, that
possibility never crossed my mind, and the leg feathers alone obviate
such speculation, in my view.
I merely observed that -- "Feathery snouts do seem an unlikely condition
in beakless carnivores that eat prey large enough to be messy.".
I should have made that _distal_ snouts, or even "feathery snout-tips",
I suppose -- but did not, likely because feathers on the distal portion
of Microraptor snouts were what were being referenced, and the context
of the thread clearly indicates that
feathers-on-snouts-closer-to-the-head are known.
I continue to believe that vultures are informative relative to
feathers/no feathers on snout-tips -- a beakless snout will inevitably
get fouled when ingesting prey to large to swallow whole -- in that
sense, a feathery snout tip is functionally quite similar to the head of
a bird that must routinely deal with fouling posterior to the beak when
accessing soft tissue.
Actually, I had previously assumed that the above-mentioned reasoning
about fouled feathers had informed the non-feathery snout-tip
Nice job, btw. I would have put the hallux-less critters on a larger
limb, but do not think your reconstruction unrealistic, and certainly
have not the skills to match it anyways.
Having been raised on Audubon images, and understanding why he did that,
the possible anatomical awkwardness of Ellison's depiction does not
bother me, either.
> Not Confuciusornis, smaller enantiornithines.
True. My mistake, thanks for the correction. Certainly something
swallow-sized could indeed be swallowed whole.
I continue to assume, subject to new evidence surfacing, that M was
I had also assumed that the evidence indicated that M dismembered at
least some prey, but that was a mistake on my part -- although I
continue to think it likely.
Lastly birds preen and bathe. Maybe scavenger deinonychosaurs could have as
Scavenger deinonychosaurs? Interesting! Which ones?
Or maybe they just stank to high heaven and tolerated septic faces better.
But, but, they had iridescent feathers -- surely they took pride in
their appearance! :D
One more thought, you speak of trying to clean gore out of feathers and having
it strip the bird, a scene I commend you for braving.
Plucked many a (dead) bird, but perhaps parrot owners know more about
this -- especially ones that have been severely bitten...