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Re: Flight SPECULATION
>Given that irregular land surfaces can be found everywhere, if the evolutio=
>of flight were this easy from cursorial forms, there would certainly be mor=
>kinds of flying vertebrates than just three (one extinct).
Perhaps, but what if flight evolved in bipedal animals only (bats being a=
possible point against this)? Also, the animal would have to be of a=
reasonable size (say, _Compsognathus_ sized or smaller). This would mean=
that very few animals would ever have the criteria for powered flight.
>Also, what would
>cause the pursuing theropod to abandon a tried and true method of capturing
>prey (by following it the long way across gullies) for gliding?
A short cut. It also might help the small theropod to get a few precious=
feet ahead of a much larger theropod that had dinner plans (combining both=
the predator-avoidance and prey-catching hypotheses).
>That is, what
>would compel the animal to take to the air in the first place? And finally,
>there is nothing here about the evolution of powered flight, just gliding.
All flight probably evolved gliding first anyway. My possibility simply=
gets the animal of the ground. Once the animal is in the air, evolution=
will select forms that will lead to powered flight.