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>in slowing the animal down, not speeding it up.  To give this up simply to
>make a slightly-longer-than-average jump is unlikely to be too useful as an
>escape mechanism, unless the prey can literally get out of the way be
>clearing an obstacle or reaching a refuge (like a tree, folks!).

This may become similar to the "chicken and egg" question.  So which came 
first, arborial habits, or flight?

>There is, of course, no evidence that flight evolved to escape predators.
>In fact I am inclined to doubt this if only because it seems to have evolved
>first in carnivorous forms, leading me to suspect that reaching new sources
>of food may have been more important.  A possible exception, megachiropteran
>bats, feed on fruit which can only be reached by having access to trees (and
>of course fruit did not exist until the Cretaceous).

Perhaps, but flight evolved in a small predator, which could easily have become 
prey itself.

>Even highly-evolved living gliders (which, as I have argued elsewhere on
>this list, may not have anything to do with the origin of flight) often use
>their gliding ability simply to get about, not just to flee predators; I
>have seen this myself in Draco lizards and giant flying squirrels in Borneo.

Yes, but as someone on this list once said, "evolution in gliders seems to make 
better gliders."  Do any of the above species have what it takes to evolve 
powered flight?


Labrynthodonts: Amphibians that lived with the Minitaur!