or, Why Wings Probably Really Evolved
- Controlled Falls: Winged dinosaurs were predators, and would have chased or ambushed prey. Wings would allow them to better control pounces and leaps, as well as slow falls from high places that might otherwise injure them.
- Wing-Assisted Incline Running: Wings can be used by their owners to help them climb steep hills or tree trunks.
- Mantling: Seen in birds of prey even today, wings are useful for hiding prey items from opportunistic passersby who might steal them. Also useful for hiding vulnerable offspring from sight.
- Camouflage: Wings can have intricate patterning that help their owners blend into the background, and also help break up their silhouette- particularly important if your predators have poor color vision, like mammals (and mammals were around long before dinosaurs!).
- Secondary Sexual Characteristic: Glossy, healthy, bright wings and other feathery appendages are indicators of good health, desirable in mates. It’s an honest signal to females that the male is in good condition and can pass those genes on to the offspring.
- Ritualization: The same sexual characteristics can also settle disputes between competing males (or females, if the sexual roles are reversed) without violence. An individual can visually determine if he has a chance in a fight with his opponent without ever fighting. It increases the fitness of both parties.
- Deimatic Behavior: This is defensive behavior, or a startle response. Wings can make a bird (or dinosaur) look much larger than they are, and bright colors and bold patterns can startle a predator and deter the attack.
Bruce Davidson - Time of Change: Civil Rights Photographs, 1961-1965 (via)
Ok so i don’t know how many of you saw my embroidery set from last year showing women in film statistics, but to tie in with International Women’s day over on Screenqueens and the learning I’ve done in the past year, I’ve added a couple more.
‘What a pity!’ said Combeferre. ‘What a hideous thing these butcheries are! Come, when there are no more kings, there will be no more war. Enjolras, you are aiming at that sergeant, you are not looking at him. Just think that he is a charming young man; he is intrepid; you see that he is a thinker; these young artillery-men are well educated; he has a father, a mother, a family; he is in love, probably; he is at most twenty-five years old; he might be your brother.’
‘He is,’ said Enjolras.
‘Yes,’ said Combeferre, ‘and mine also. Well, don’t let us kill him.’
‘Let me alone. We must do what we must.’
And a tear rolled slowly down Enjolras’ marble cheek.
At the same time, he pressed the trigger of his carbine.
In which General Washington becomes increasingly done with Betsy Ross showing him flags.