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Re: Feeding of Archaeopteyx



In a message dated 95-11-06 11:59:47 EST, Robert.J.Meyerson@uwrf.edu (Rob
Meyerson) writes:

>IDEA FLASH!  Could this be archy's niche: a scavenger role?  This could=
> explain the origin of flight in these animals; since a scavenger is going=
> to need to cover it's territory with relative efficiency, so flight
evolves=
> so it can cover these long distances easily.  What do the dino-pros think?
=
> Was archy designed for this type of role?
>
>

I think it's more likely that scavenging evolved among birds _after_ they had
established themselves in the air; it's one of many lifestyle opportunities
available to active fliers. Flight evolves, allowing territory to be covered
efficiently, allowing the evolution of scavengers--not the other way around.
Evolution does not work to satisfy an organism's needs, because it is an
essentially stochastic process; an organism may "need" to cover territory,
but its genes don't know that. Evolution is more like the process of
expansion of a gas into a surrounding vacuum through a crack in the
gas-bottle.