Notices
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: A birds tail

  1. #1 A birds tail 
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    171
    I remember as a child my father told me if I was able to put salt on a birds tail I could catch the bird.
    Later that day, I could be seen stalking robins in the back yard with a large container of mortons salt as my father laughed from the kitchen window.

    One night 35 years later after watching a show that debated the origin of bird flight, I was having a dream where I was standing at the edge of a large clearing. In the clearing I saw a group of feathered theropods.

    They were all a dark blue in color and seemed to be at an evolutionary stage before flight. This thought suddenly propelled to chase after these creatures. I felt somehow that If I could catch one of these dinos I would be able to examine it and discover some truth about how they learned to fly.

    As ran behind one at high speed, I could almost grab its long tail when suddenly there was a bright white flash a loud squawk ! it seemed for a moment that the theropod had exploded in a flash of light and disappeared right in front of me.

    I stood there stunned and turned to see that the creature had merely change directions suddenly, as it did though it used its tail as a rudder much like a cheetah to change direction.

    What had stunned me however was a much more ingenious adaptation. underneath the dark blue tail feathers were bright white feathers. This sudden flash of white combined with the loud squawk and sudden 90 degree turn would disrupt any predators neural network long enough for the theropod to make its getaway.


    They all stopped and looked back at me seeming rather smug and untouchable like the robins in my back yard, then they all leapt into the air and began to fly in a strange serpentine patterns in the sky. I could see the white under the tails and also under their wings. Then I woke up.

    This is how I interpreted the dream, the secret of bird flight is not in the wings, but in the tail, the running theropod used the tail as multi-purpose complex feature to avoid what ever was chasing it.

    This body plan allowed the tail to function an symmetrical aerodynamic information gathering device.
    Once the genetic linkage is established between cognition, nervous system, muscles, ligaments, feather shape. the system can be brought forward bilaterally to the arms to make them wings.
    This also explains why birds display their tail feathers in mating rituals. This was the original seat of survival traits in bird morphology so when one ask why the peacocks tail is so bright it is because this is its ancestral source of genetic complexity and power. Wings emerged from this source of genetic complexity easily after the tail had honed these linkages over vast periods of time.



    Flight feathers would developed first on the theropods tail enabling it to control pitch and yaw as a runner so it to could change direction sharply from right to left just as birds do today when flying.

    The same way the jet uses its rear tail flaps to turn. Two distinct mechanism performing two distinct functions, the wings providing the lift the tail providing the steering, and the steering was perfected as a runner in the right left dimension of the ground, before the up down dimension of lift into the sky, and of coarse this was provided by the flight feathers of the tail before the flight feathers of the wings so the ability for flight originated though the complex adaptive tail before the wings !


    The point is this, in the prominent theory of bird fight “ground up” no one has yet figured out why the theropod would develop the highly adapted flight feather on the wings before they actually started flying.
    To develop fight feathers on the arms while running and catching things is to awkward. The theropod would need to run around with its arms stretched out trying to glide for millions of years and then run around for another million flapping them up and down before developing flight feathers.


    Why would it do this? There is no advantage, no smooth development.

    But, if the flight feathers and all the associated linkages were developed in the tail they could then easily be adopted by the feathers along a meridian over the rest of the body. What I mean by meridians is these lines that can transfer traits across the body plan I don’t know of the exact terminology or even if there is one. but nonetheless next time you see a chicken that has been plucked you can see a distinct symmetrical longitudinal lines or pathways on the body that runs from the tail to the wings.




    These dream birds also seemed to contained some information in the strange dark blue color………. after some time it finally occurred to me, they were the same shade of blue as a container of mortons salt.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    177
    When it rains, it pours.

    I know this has little to do with your story (except your introduction)...

    As a boy about 7 yrs old I caught an adult blue jay. I had been sitting unmoving on a fence for perhaps 30 mins, fixated on watching a road contruction crew working on the street. A blue jay flew in and landed on the fence right beside me. So I quickly moved my hand over slightly and caught it before it could fly off. The bird bit and scratched me, and so I let it go. It was exhilirating at that age to hold a real live wild bird!

    For years afterwards, I tried and sometimes succeeded in catching birds in various homemade traps that I devised. I had this fascination with building better and better bird-catching contraptions. I always released the birds unharmed.[/img]


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,934
    Quote Originally Posted by silylene
    When it rains, it pours.

    I know this has little to do with your story (except your introduction)...

    As a boy about 7 yrs old I caught an adult blue jay. I had been sitting unmoving on a fence for perhaps 30 mins, fixated on watching a road contruction crew working on the street. A blue jay flew in and landed on the fence right beside me. So I quickly moved my hand over slightly and caught it before it could fly off. The bird bit and scratched me, and so I let it go. It was exhilirating at that age to hold a real live wild bird!

    For years afterwards, I tried and sometimes succeeded in catching birds in various homemade traps that I devised. I had this fascination with building better and better bird-catching contraptions. I always released the birds unharmed.[/img]
    Wouldn't it have been better just to admire the bird who decided to sit next to you instead of scarring it so much? Observing animals in the wild is a very relaxing thing to do and if your lucky sometimes those animals will become a friend and sit near you because they trust you. Today with fewer animals on this planet, more than 2/3 of them have becone extinct and many of the remaing ones are on the endangered species list , we should try to be as friendly to them as we can. Without animals humans won't exist either.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    j
    j is offline
    Forum Bachelors Degree
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    431
    I really don't know enough about paleoanatomy or aerodynamics to offer a useful critique of the theory.

    Can you explain how tail feathers improve the tail's function as a rudder? [Or do you have a link?]

    What would be the adaptive benefit of the feathers spreading from the tail over the body before flight was achieved? Is the defining characteristic of flight feathers that they are shorter?

    Could the white have been a metaphor for the salt?

    Oh, I found this at Columbia on-line:
    "Feathers grow only along certain definite tracts (pterylae), ..."
    Why do they want us to believe Conspiracy Theories?
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by cosmictraveler
    Wouldn't it have been better just to admire the bird who decided to sit next to you instead of scarring it so much?....
    Sigh....I never expected to collide with the animal PC crowd with this story. I can honestly tell you most 7 yr old boys 30 yrs ago didn't think of the feelings of the animal. I'll remember next time to post about the abandoned nestlings that I found after after a storm and raised and released.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,283
    Quote Originally Posted by silylene
    Sigh....I never expected to collide with the animal PC crowd with this story.
    You must realise that they sit out there at their keyboards and monitors waiting with the patience of experienced predators. Waiting for the game to come into view, but not pouncing. Waiting.
    Waiting, while they study their movements, their style, deducing the nature of their psyche, looking for the weakness.
    They see a weakness and then they pounce. The less experienced predators strike too early, allowing the game to jump adroitly out of the way. The prey feels momentary elation and relaxes, for the moment safe. But the seasoned predator is still out there, waiting, waiting for the fatal strike.


    Ophiolite returns to find his alter ego typing nonsense at the keyboard and brushes him aside.
    Usually the white feathers are not there to startle the predator but to warn others in the community. Compare the effect of the white underside of rabbit tails.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    171
    Quote Originally Posted by j
    I really don't know enough about paleoanatomy or aerodynamics to offer a useful critique of the theory.

    Can you explain how tail feathers improve the tail's function as a rudder? [Or do you have a link?]

    What would be the adaptive benefit of the feathers spreading from the tail over the body before flight was achieved? Is the defining characteristic of flight feathers that they are shorter?

    Could the white have been a metaphor for the salt?

    Oh, I found this at Columbia on-line:
    "Feathers grow only along certain definite tracts (pterylae), ..."

    Tail feathers that are broad and stiff can utilize the air as a medium of advantage.

    Thank you for the (pterylae),

    Yes I do believe the white was a metaphor for the salt incorporated within the intent of capture, or rather the failure of capture.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    171
    Quote Originally Posted by "
    Ophiolite returns to find his [i
    alter ego [/i]typing nonsense at the keyboard and brushes him aside.
    Usually the white feathers are not there to startle the predator but to warn others in the community. Compare the effect of the white underside of rabbit tails.

    This is correct white tail deer do this as well, but if you ever hunted deer or rabbit this bouncing flashing light makes it very difficult to predict the path the creature or react to a sudden changes in its direction, especially when the tail flashes to the right as the creature pivots to the left.

    Hunters reffer to this deception as turn signals that lie.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Forum Sophomore NimaRahnemoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Sunnyvale, California
    Posts
    156
    Hm, I took biology last year. I remember this one theory from last year. Some scientist said that if you look at an animal that runs on two legs... like a dog. ( A dog doesn't run with four legs, it runs with two, a horse is another great example or a cheetah). The body motion goes up and down. Eventually the body motion began to go really low, and then really high. Finally the body motion went too high, and the animals began to leap up and down, like a kangaroo. I don't really remember the rest. It ended up becoming that the animals started to make huge leaps, and soon enough they started to fly. There are pictures in my old biology book on this theory. Sadly I don't have my bio book, if you look online I am pretty sure there is something about it.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Forum Sophomore
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    177
    Quote Originally Posted by Nima Rahnemoon
    Hm, I took biology last year. I remember this one theory from last year. ... It ended up becoming that the animals started to make huge leaps, and soon enough they started to fly. There are pictures in my old biology book on this theory. Sadly I don't have my bio book, if you look online I am pretty sure there is something about it.
    Bunk.

    Animals that hop well do not seem to require or develop wings. Kangaroos, Malagasy jumping rats, jerboas, jumping spiders, fleas, Olympic high jumpers, toads and frogs all show no tendency to grow wings.

    On the other hand, crickets, grasshoppers, click beetles and robins do jump well, and they have wings.

    But Lousiana cockroaches, butterflies and bats are completely incapable of jumping, and yet they do sport wings and fly quite capably.

    I fail to find any correlation whatsoever between the groups of examples I just gave you. hence, I must conclude your teacher's hypothesis is baseless.

    The latest theory is that feathered dinosaurs that glided downwards from tree branches evolved into birds. No hopping involved. there are some nice recent references to this on the internet.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Forum Radioactive Isotope cosmictraveler's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Key West, Florida, Earth
    Posts
    4,934
    Two thirds of all animals that once lived on this planet are noe extinct. Many of the remaing animals are also on the endangered species list. It's going to be a very lonesome place without animals if they should bacome extinct.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •