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Re: Question: Why did birds lose their teeth?

On Thu, Mar 13th, 2014 at 12:11 PM, don ohmes <d_ohmes@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Also: The list of species in which "vestigial" claws are found is not 
> negligible -- but do
> domesticated birds count, unless claws are common in the wild-type rootstock? 

Most of the vestigial claws I've seen on bird wings are so small they'd be 
completely lost beneath 
the feathers of the live bird, so would probably have no aerodynamic 
consequences at all. That 
may well be why they haven't been lost completely.

The wing claws of emus and ostriches are anything but vestigial. Ratites don't 
have any flight 
requirements though, so there'd be no selective pressure to reduce their claws. 
They actually look 
like quite functional talons, so there may even be positive selection to keep 
them (whatever it 
might be).

Darren Naish has some great posts on his blog on the subject:



Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj