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Re: FLYING SQUIRRELS!



>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
>enhanced.
>

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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Toronto, Ontario Canada M5H 3P5