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In a message dated 95-12-07 21:10:21 EST, email@example.com.EDU (Dennis C
>Just a thought here--weren't pterosaurs already fully accomplished fliers
>by the late Triassic? I seem to recall that _Preondactylus_,
>_Peteinosaurus_, and some others had already made a strong showing by
>this point (?_Eudimorphodon_).
>If this is the case, then evolving protobirds weren't necessarily
>expanding into a whole new set of *unoccupied* niches by developing
>flight. Perhaps secondary flightlessness appears so commonly (by BCF)
>because of competition with pterosaurs, who may have already been
>occupying those niches.
>Flight is, after all, pretty expensive metabolically. One might well
>imagine that it would be lost pretty quickly if it confers little
This is indeed a possible cause of secondary flightlessness. Pterosaurs were
flying around the Late Triassic with no problem.