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Evolution's weirdest designs


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#1    Roj47

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 01:38 PM

Nature has experimented/ made mistakes/ evolved many weird creatures. I attach one below (not the one I was looking for, but very similar).

A dinosaur with feathers that could not fly. Were the feathers for show? attraction? early evolution for flight? other?

I am just kind of interested in the strange creatures that evolved, but became extinct due to not being able to compete, so argueably were nature's experiments.

What is your favourite?

Species:
Caudipteryx zoui
"caw-DIP-ter-ix ZJO-eye"
Birdlike dinosaur with feathers covering whole body
Long, striped tail plume
The feathers on Caudipteryx are very similar to those of modern birds. The feathers have a central hollow shaft with numerous thin filaments (called barbs) extending outward, creating the recognizable shape of a feather. Yet even though Caudipteryx had feathers like modern birds, it did not fly because its arms were too short. Modern feathers evolved long before the ability to fly.

http://www.amnh.org/exhibitions/dinosaurs/...ers&a=caudi

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#2    Startraveler

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 04:49 PM

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A dinosaur with feathers that could not fly. Were the feathers for show? attraction? early evolution for flight? other?


Could have been any number of reasons. Maybe they played a role in thermoregulation--feathers do have insulating properties.


#3    frogfish

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Posted 25 August 2006 - 05:06 PM

There are many reasons dinosaurs had feathers...Caudipteryx was a 'missing link', if you will. The feathers could have been just because it was the evolutionary gap between dinosaurs and avians. Also, feathers (especially down) are used for insulation...especially down. This theory has lost some credibility although with the new ideas that dinosaurs are warm-blooded. Another idea is that the feathers were used for mating. Ther probably were brightly colored to attract mates, and served the same function as ornamental horns, crests, plates, and other things used for display.

My favorite feathered dinosaur is Bambiraptor.

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#4    KayEl

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 10:41 PM

Well, birds are warm blooded as well and they have plenty of feathers, and many of them do use them as insulation.


#5    GreyWeather

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 11:47 PM

hm, well, look at chickens. They have feathers yet can't fly, same with the Dodo. I'ma agree with frogfish in that they were for insulation and/or mating rituals. Or maybe to warn off preditors by puffing out the feathers that were brightly coloured, it would be quite the shock if you had never seen anything of the sort.

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#6    War-Junkie

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:33 AM

speaking about animals with wings that cant fly i always wanted to know what the penguin evolved from. it has some form of wings or arm things and it cant fly but no feathers


#7    Sharm

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:51 AM

Feathers make them look bigger. Good to scare predators


#8    Raptor

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 02:52 PM

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hm, well, look at chickens. They have feathers yet can't fly, same with the Dodo. I'ma agree with frogfish in that they were for insulation and/or mating rituals. Or maybe to warn off preditors by puffing out the feathers that were brightly coloured, it would be quite the shock if you had never seen anything of the sort.


But chickens evolved from birds which could fly.


#9    ReviewDude

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 03:23 PM

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But chickens evolved from birds which could fly.


No, chickens came from EGGS, God, I thought everyone knew that! Or was it the other way around...  tongue.gif

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#10    GreyWeather

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 04:29 PM

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No, chickens came from EGGS, God, I thought everyone knew that! Or was it the other way around...  tongue.gif


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speaking about animals with wings that cant fly i always wanted to know what the penguin evolved from. it has some form of wings or arm things and it cant fly but no feathers


Penguin wings help them to propel themselves through the waters at a good speed. They do have feathers, but they're really oil-ley to avoid water being trapped within the feathers (they'd die from the extreme cold of the sea and the temperatures on the land.) They also form a tight circle thats always moving, as to keep each other warm and from freezing.

There's probably loads I've missed out  hmm.gif

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#11    ReviewDude

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 08:34 PM

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Penguin wings help them to propel themselves through the waters at a good speed. They do have feathers, but they're really oil-ley to avoid water being trapped within the feathers (they'd die from the extreme cold of the sea and the temperatures on the land.) They also form a tight circle thats always moving, as to keep each other warm and from freezing.

There's probably loads I've missed out  hmm.gif


That's true. Wings aren't only necessary for flying wink2.gif

Thing is, you have to wonder why birds like ostriches (have such hard names to spell) have wings, because they don't need to swim, protect against cold or fly...


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#12    GreyWeather

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 09:46 PM

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That's true. Wings aren't only necessary for flying wink2.gif

Thing is, you have to wonder why birds like ostriches (have such hard names to spell) have wings, because they don't need to swim, protect against cold or fly...


They help warn off preditors, think of it this way. Imagine an ostriche without wings running after you - not really all that scary. Now think of an ostriche with wings outstretched running towards you - a hella lot more scarier.
They're just for intimidation would be my guess.

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#13    ReviewDude

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:07 PM

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They help warn off preditors, think of it this way. Imagine an ostriche without wings running after you - not really all that scary. Now think of an ostriche with wings outstretched running towards you - a hella lot more scarier.
They're just for intimidation would be my guess.


Apologies, but I have trouble imagining any ostrich running towards me - wingless or otherwise  dontgetit.gif

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#14    GreyWeather

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 10:34 PM

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Apologies, but I have trouble imagining any ostrich running towards me - wingless or otherwise  dontgetit.gif


oops, I think I was thinking of Emu's. but anyway, replace ostriche with Emu.

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#15    frogfish

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Posted 06 September 2006 - 11:22 PM

The wings of an ostrich are also evolutionary remnants.

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