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Feather Length

   Most authorities now agree that some of the small, swift bipedal dinosaurs were warm-blooded and that they  developed feathers as a means of providing insulation, but they have long wondered why feathers became so large. 

Nomingia gobiensis, shown without feathers

  Oviraptor philoceratops is known to have protected its eggs, but it clutches were large and could not be fully protected.

Nomingia gobiensis, shown with feathers

    Thomas P. Hop and Mark J. Orsen of Protein Research Laboratories Inc of Seattle, Washington have theorized that dinosaurs that mutated to produce large feathers were better able to protect their eggs from heat and cold. This is well demonstrated by the above illustrations showing the difference in the amount of protection provided by a parent with no feathers and one with lots of them.  This led to feather dinosaurs having a higher survival rate and far more descendents - a classic case of "survival of the fittest."  Flight may have been a byproduct of this new characteristic
 
    
 

 

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