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MORE FLIGHTLESS AVES



> >     There are probably a couple of reasons bats don't go flightless 
> >very often. I don't know if they are quite as good as birds at flying, so 
> >they probably have a harder time getting to islands where there are no 
> >predators (does anybody, for instance, know if places like the Galapagos 
> >and Hawaii or other oceanic islands have bats?) and they just aren't as
> >adept at moving on the ground as birds are. 

I might as well say that, in Doug Dixon's 'After Man', the futuristic
Indian Ocean archipelago Batavia has its own endemic fauna of flightless
bats. This book is unobtainable here, and I understand that he created a
whole series of different ecotypes.. the best known of these (featured
in a recent Focus article, and discussed in the BBC Wildlife review of
After Man in '88) is a big biped called the 'Nightstalker'. It is pretty
much blind, hunting by echolocation I guess, and walks on long arms -
its atrophied legs hand over its shoulders and are used to grasp and
manipulate prey near the mouth. Anyway, who needs hypothetical creatures
on a dinosaur list... apologies...

> and only one flightless songbird although
> songbirds make up more than half of all bird species). 
(Ronald Orenstein)
  
I thought that the extinct Mauritian passerine _Fragelipus varius_ was
flightless. This is from memory (a la blue coucal)... so do correct me
if wrong.

"I had to kill Bob Morton because he made a mistake.. now it's time to
erase that mistake"

DARREN NAISH