Wednesday, December 5, 2012


The ideas I am presenting differ from the current mainstream theory that birds developed from dinosaurs. That is why I was intrigued by the following passage from a discussion group from years ago:
From Larry Febo:
I`m not sure exactly how feathers developed,but actinofibrils arranged in a
pattern similar to flight feather rachis is very suggestive.
Whatever the
path, a changeover from a fully functional membrane to feathers would have
to be gradual, and would require a "reason" for it to happen. I believe the
reason might have been the invasion of a new, and colder enviornment.
Perhaps a more upland enviornment, and natural selection acting on this
primitive wing to cut down on exposed area in a colder enviornment. Contour
feathers, once developed, could have extended to long flight feathers as the
membrane, and wing finger gradually (over generations) shrunk, until this
wing finger was itself no longer necessary.

The passage includes the idea that this transition must have been "gradual". I do not think that is necessarily so. A saltation is also a possibility.

1 comment:

  1. There really is very little that needs to change in the transition from membrane (including actinofibrils) to feathers.
    It should also be noted that bird fingers are fused, so that is also a change that would have taken place.

    See "facilitated variation" for fascinating info about how the transition, which is small to begin with could have occurred through known developmental processes.