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Re: Yet more on dinosaur quad climbers
On Jul 14, 2013, at 9:30 AM, Jason Brougham <email@example.com> wrote:
> Mike, Do you think that the feathers of Anchiornis, as described in Longrich
> et al. (2012), may be good candidates for an 'almost' flight feather, or more
> likely to be a degenerate flight feather?
> The authors here suggested that the remiges may have been less stiff
> individually, but there were more layers in the wing producing, in essence, a
> thatched airfoil.
That's a good question. I'm not sure we know how to tell the difference
between an incipient flight feather and a secondarily reduced one, yet.
The stiffening by layering of the feathers is an interesting concept. It may
also be important in considering the flight worthiness of the feathers in
animals like Archaeopteryx, which have functionally symmetric primaries and
would therefore have a feather twisting problem without reinforcement (note:
functional asymmetry is not the same as simple measured asymmetry).
Assistant Professor of Cell and Neurobiology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
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