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>The diversity of flying squirrels nicely supports the BCF idea that once a
>particularly beneficial volant adaptation appeared, this fostered a
>mini-explosion of similar dino-bird species, which in turn made the
>appearance of the next volant adaptation more likely. When you have dozens of
>hundreds of related species in competition with one another and the
>environment, the likelihood of evolution of new features can only be

I'm not sure of this.  Yes, flying squirrels are very diverse, but not
particularly in relation to their gliding adaptations.  Rather than
demonstrating a series of increasingly sophisticated adaptations you seem
merely to have variations in size, thickness of pelage etc.  In other words,
once a certain level in sophistication of gliding is reached the line tends
to stay that way - another reason I find it difficult to see long-distance
gliders as stages on the road to powered flight.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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