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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Abstract Dinosaur Question

So...ok...we are told that dinosaurs evolved --pretty much- into birds. OK, I get that. But, what about how many of those dinosaurs we know and love, like t-rex, and raptors of various types, having the remnance of feathers? Why?

It seems to me that those particular, afore mentioned dinosaurs are giving us the impression that they had already done gone and evolved AWAY from the need for flight. That being the case, they began to evolve away their feathers.

So then, over time, they have lost the need for flight and have these clinging, scraggles of feathers for what reason, again? But wait, then birds RE-EVOLVED the feather theng, and THIS time, made it stick!!! BUT...they had to agree to be shrunk.

I know...What is my problem?...sheesh.


  1. Bob, it may be that feathers originally arose for insulation (dinosaurs have been found in Alaska, e.g.), then later turned out to be handy for flight. Feathers can also be used for display, such as in modern turkeys and peacocks.

    One theory of how insects developed wings is that they started out as water bugs and the proto-wings were water paddles for scooting around at high speed on the water (as some water skimming insects do today), which has a lot of survival value. Eventually the paddles got bigger in some and the bugs could also briefly soar into the air to evade predators--again survival value. That would be how insect wings got going, eventually taking to the air altogether.

    An analog would be modern flying fish which can briefly soar out of the water. Normally their "wings" are fins used for swimming, but can perform double duty.

    So one can similarly imagine a small dinosaur/proto-bird with feathered forelimbs using them to soar or glide initially to evade predators or maybe catch prey, and bird wings developing from there.

  2. Hi David. :)

    Thanks for commenting. I definitely see the logic. It still seems odd to me. Some remnant feathers do indeed simply provide a look, maybe for mating purposes, but the hollow tube construction and intricate details that make up feathers appear to me to point to flight.

    Obviously, though, since we can see what is there we know they had them for some reason.

    Thanks again for commenting.

    Hope all is well with you, my friend.