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21:00 18-03-2012
SN
I meant that feathers are indeed branched hairs from a functional point of view. I think they are dereived from scales as you wrote, but perhaps hair and scales share a common history; something to look up.
18:01 18-03-2012
Evan Black
Isn't a feather, in effect, a 'branched hair'? The theory I've always heard is that feathers evolved from scales, but there's another theory that points to the fact that feathers grow from follicles as evidence of them having a different origin.
13:37 18-03-2012
Sigmund N
Those meta-feathers should work well for insulation. Jan mentioned the idea of making them more three-dimensional, as opposed to the basically flat nature of existing feathers. Aren't the downy parts of feathers already fairly three-dimensional? Their 'hairs' are attached to two sides of a central stalk, but they curl away in three dimensions from that point on.

I wonder why there are no 'branched hairs' on Earth. Perhaps unbranched hairs are good enough. It would be more difficult to grow branched hairs than unbranched ones. The latter require adding new material at the bottom and pushing out the resulting hair, rather like grass grows: from the bottom, not from the top. Growing a complicated structure such as a branched hair requires an altogether different growth process. Possible, but more difficult.
20:42 17-03-2012
Jan
Evan Black: I do not think it could make good flight surface. If hardened like spines, it would be a good armor, maybe.
07:47 17-03-2012
Evan Black
Cool feathers. Reminds me of what covers one of the alien species in the book called The Jupiter Theft.

One concern I see is that while the feather may work just fine for insulation, it may not be as versatile as the terrestrial feather. For example, how would that kind of structure adapt into a flight surface, if at all? Could it mat and harden into some sort of scale; if so, how?
13:35 16-03-2012
Jan
Anthony: Well, this feather would be just one step more. Tridimensional structure where feather is only bidimensional. I am just not certain, if it could mean impovement of the thermal insulation or not, but for decorative purposes...
 
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22:30 14-03-2012
Anthony
Jan - that's what a feather is. (a feather is a stalk with the stalk-and-stuff of the previous stage)
20:55 10-03-2012
Jan
I hope there will be some interesting food for imagination, sooner or later. In the meanwhile, would not you mind if I share here an idea? I was thinking about possible insulation. The most complex one on th Earth is bird feathers but what about meta-feather, which would be like feathers on a thin stalk. Maybe not so practical, but at least it is different
http://www.ulozobrazek.cz/view.php?filename=658speculative_feather.bmp
21:07 05-03-2012
SN
Spugpow: thank you. This species is definitely better at crossing dry land than the Mediterranean ones I saw as a child. I like the way it more or less uses its legs as caterpillar tracks: only a short section is held vertically, and that progresses along the leg.

Jan: I cannot help you there. I would expect Evan to post something on the speculative biology site rather then here, when and if he wants to.
13:26 04-03-2012
Jan
What about Nereus, will there be any change soon?
08:52 03-03-2012
Spugpow
Yet another octopus on land video! This one's interesting because the species depicted is adapted to move between tidal pools. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lom5kM4ytaI

I find the rolling motion of the tentacles interesting.
10:10 28-02-2012
Jan
I like them, too. Maybe many of the concepts are from other sources, but I think that it is good for speculative biology to explore them from different sides.
13:54 25-02-2012
William Stephens
Have you looked at the rest of grumbleputty's work on deviantart? It looks really good; http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&q=grumbleputty . My favourite has to be this; http://browse.deviantart.com/?qh=&section=&q=grumbleputty#/d34g7m2 . What does everyone else think? SN?
00:04 23-02-2012
Spugpow
Here's another take on sandswimming: http://zippo4k.deviantart.com/favourites/4255534?offset=288#/d2o8qkj
07:10 21-02-2012
Spugpow
You can see his old website on the Internet Archive (no pictures though): http://web.archive.org/web/20090319093059/http://www.nemoramjet.com/snduterus.html
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