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Re: cursorial flapping -Reply



In a message dated 95-12-02 11:00:13 EST, JNorton@MAILBOX.UNE.EDU writes:

>The only part of Greg Paul's (and others) argument that I don't quite
>understand is this:  if powered flight developed in a small arboreal
>theropod as a means of jumping from lower to higher branches, then the
>long limbs, long neck, and wide wingspan seem ill-suited to an
>environment of tree branches.  It's crowded up there, and I can't imagine
>a full-fledged flyer having enough room to develop the flight apparatus in
>such a confining environment with the potential for collisions between a
>flyer and the branches.  It seems much more likely to me that the flight
>apparatus developed in an environment free of spatial limitations with
>room to maneuver, and was an extension of the running, leaping,
>pouncing approach to acquiring prey.

The flying, rudimentary as it was, surely developed well before a long neck
and wide wingspan. The neck of _Archaeopteryx_ is not particularly elongate,
for example, nor is the wingspan particularly wide. And _A_ seems not to have
lived in a forested environment.