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John Bois wrote:

>> On Thu, 1 Aug 1996, Nick Longrich wrote:
>> > I can't think of any reason to call bats clumsy fliers, and the fact
>> > that there are about 1000 species of them or something ridiculous
>> > like that proves that they're good enough at it to suit Mother
>> > Nature or natural selection.
>> But they are almost completely outcompeted in the day time by 
>> alula-bearing birds. 

I still hold to the view that the considerably greater diversity seen in
birds than in bats (or pterosaurs) is primarily (though not entirely) due to
the fact that birds have decoupled their wing mechanism from the hind limb,
allowing a far greater range of adaptations for walking, wading, swimming,
climbing etc.  Imagine a bat version of a stork, a loon or a woodpecker to
see what I mean.  As far as flight goes bats can do pretty much anything
birds can, though perhaps not quite so well - flying foxes even soar, though
bats certainly have not produced anything quite like an albatross or a condor.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116 (home)
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