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In a message dated 96-08-05 17:10:00 EDT, ornstn@inforamp.net (Ronald
Orenstein) writes:

> 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.

I think "decoupled" is the wrong word to use here. There was never a time
during which the wings of birds were coupled to the hind limbs in a single
flight mechanism (a la bats and at least the earlier pterosaurs), as far as
we know.