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In a message dated 95-12-07 09:59:18 EST, dwn194@soton.ac.uk (D.W.Naish)

>In one of their (increasingly frequent) slagging matches -;), George and
>have been battling it out (min.exagg.) over the use of 'any amount of fluff'
>Olshevskiism) as advantageous to an acronomic (sigh) tetrapod...
>Last night (while reading about nesting sites in lyrebirds) I suddenly
>remembered that there is a population of a species of goose, or possibly a
>duck ('fraid I can't remember) whose choice of nesting site necessitates the
>plunging off a cliff by the flightless, downy babies. When the parents
>it's time, the whole family leaves the nest and heads sea-ward. Prob is, the
>is at the bottom of a 30 m+ high cliff: mum and dad can fly off.. babies
>follow. Like the good little imprinters they are, off they plunge - down -
>- down.. and onto the rocks (yes, rocks) below. By virtue of their fluffy
>they survive, and after clambering over a rock-strewn beach to get to the
>off swim the (brain damaged - kidding) babies with their parents.. happily
>after. etc etc.

This is interesting indeed, but the fluffy down is undoubtedly aided by the
fledglings' relatively small size. Helps the air resistance do its work.