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In a message dated 95-12-04 15:05:54 EST, PWSPARKS@aol.com writes:

>I think that the idea that birds muct have climbed first to fly is overrated
>and seems to be based more on the idea that a ground jumper couldn't fly
>on the reasonableness of the out of tree aurguements.
>First of all there is a prima facie case for ground up right now, flying
>fish. The have developed from my favorite evolutionalry force, "get the hell
>out of the way of the guy that wants to eat me". The fish jumped, and then
>jumped further, then got bigger ventrazl fins and started to glide. and
>wone day the fish will really fly. It just isn't so very hard to explain
>jumping higher and higher and a path to flight. The other things will fall
>into place or maybe some were there to start at the beginning. The tree to
>tree or tree to gound thing seems to produce gliders whereas jumping to
>flight makes more sense as a method to escape.

Flying fish are gliders. Also, they developed in a radically different
environment from cursorial theropods. And they can propel themselves through
all stages of their takeoff using their tails. Finally, they are much smaller
and lighter than any known cursorial theropods. You're comparing apples and
kitchen sinks.

Your point, however, raises the interesting possibility that a small,
lightweight cursorial theropod only a foot or two long might have managed to
evolve into a flying form, especially given some long feathers on the arms. I
could buy this as a very long-shot alternative to arboreality.