A continued role for signalling functions in the early evolution of feathers
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Persons and Currie (2015) argued against either flight, thermoregulation, or signalling as a functional benefit driving the earliest evolution of feathers; rather, they favoured simple feathers having an initial tactile sensory function, which changed to a thermoregulatory function as density increased. Here, we explore the relative merits of early simple feathers that may have originated as tactile sensors progressing instead towards a signalling, rather than (or in addition to), a thermoregulatory function. We suggest that signalling could act in concert with a sensory function more naturally than could thermoregulation. As such, the dismissal of a possible signalling function and the presumption that an initial sensory function led directly to a thermoregulatory function (implicit in the title “bristles before down”) are premature.
Ruxton , G D , Persons IV , W S & Currie , P J 2017 , ' A continued role for signalling functions in the early evolution of feathers ' Evolution , vol. 71 , no. 3 , pp. 797-799 . DOI: 10.1111/evo.13178
© 2017, the Author(s). This work has been made available online in accordance with the publisher’s policies. This is the author created, accepted version manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final published version of this work is available at onlinelibrary.wiley.com / https://doi.org/10.1111/evo.13178
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