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Microraptor was black

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  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean




  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Very interesting :D

    But, I remember reading once that some sort of banding was present in the tail feathers of a Microraptor... :confused:


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Could you define 'banding' please? I'm not quite sure what you mean.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Could you define 'banding' please? I'm not quite sure what you mean.

    As in, horizontal bands or stripes in the tail feathers, like in a kestrel for example:

    kestrel_tail_Kira_050910.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    Well, like the Archaeopteryx, I would imagine the feathers may not be exclusively black.


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  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Galvasean wrote: »
    Well, like the Archaeopteryx, I would imagine the feathers may not be exclusively black.

    Or maybe males were black and females were some other color, like grackles today?

    Boat-tailedGrackles463QuiscalusmajorB@.jpg


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 Kess73


    You living in the US, Adam? I ask because I would have guessed that the blackbird would have been the obvious choice for an Irish or UK resident to use in terms of a bird where the male is black and the female is another colour.

    I did speak to someone in this forum with regards to raptors in the US and Mexico before, so apols if that was you and I forgot your location.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Kess73 wrote: »
    You living in the US, Adam? I ask because I would have guessed that the blackbird would have been the obvious choice for an Irish or UK resident to use in terms of a bird where the male is black and the female is another colour.

    I did speak to someone in this forum with regards to raptors in the US and Mexico before, so apols if that was you and I forgot your location.

    Haha yeah that was me you talked to about Harris Hawks and all that. :D I see and hear grackles every day but have only seen blackbirds in books.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 Galvasean


    You're missing out Adam. Blackbirds have the nicest song of any bird I've ever heard.


  • Registered Users Posts: 25,560 Kess73


    Galvasean wrote: »
    You're missing out Adam. Blackbirds have the nicest song of any bird I've ever heard.


    They are indeed wonderful singers, but so are robins, wrens, and Dunnocks just to mention three that normally would be in the same areas as a blackbird and whose songs would be similar-ish in sound and execution. If you get goldfinch in your area, then you will get a treat in terms of a bird song as well.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 8,551 Rubecula


    Just throwing an idea out here.

    Feathers developed (supposedly) for insulation. Allowing the creature that owned them to keep warm.

    Black feathers could possibly be better than other colours by absorbing more of the sun's heat energy and transferring it to the owner of said feathers.

    So flight feathers are fine for flying, but black flight feathers will also help keep the creature warm.

    Do we know if these beasties lived in cooler climates?

    EDIT: Muscles need to be warmed up before hard exercise. (This applies to mammals, birds, reptiles etc too.) Flight muscles are pretty big and powerful. They may need a good warming too in some species.


  • Moderators, Science, Health & Environment Moderators Posts: 5,279 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Adam Khor


    Rubecula wrote: »
    Just throwing an idea out here.

    Feathers developed (supposedly) for insulation. Allowing the creature that owned them to keep warm.

    Black feathers could possibly be better than other colours by absorbing more of the sun's heat energy and transferring it to the owner of said feathers.

    So flight feathers are fine for flying, but black flight feathers will also help keep the creature warm.

    Do we know if these beasties lived in cooler climates?

    EDIT: Muscles need to be warmed up before hard exercise. (This applies to mammals, birds, reptiles etc too.) Flight muscles are pretty big and powerful. They may need a good warming too in some species.

    Just recently it was announced that the forests where these creatures lived where much cooler than previously thought- perhaps even downright cold during winter, with snow and all.
    So it does sound like they needed good insulation. But... many cold weather birds today do fine with non-black feathercoats. don´t they? :confused:


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