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In a message dated 95-12-01 13:18:34 EST, ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald
Orenstein) writes:

>I wonder if the advantage of a long tail might have more to do with steering
>(thus possibly supporting my armchair guess that flight may have evolved
>first for increased maneuverability in close quarters rather than for
>long-distance travel).

In MM #2 I hypothesized the tail-glider and the canard-wing glider as stages
in the evolution of gliding flight. Tail-gliders evolved first, using only
the tail to provide direction and stability to the trajectory, which would
have been little more than a controlled leap. Then the outstretched forelimbs
would naturally acquire airfoil surfaces as improvements to solving the
trajectory-control problem. As you suggest, there is no reason the forelimbs
and their airfoils need to become large surfaces for gliding before going on
to powered flight. Gliding in extant large birds is almost certainly a
secondary adaptation of flight. Your stuff makes sense.