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Re: Biped advantage



>In a message dated 11/12/1996 10:38:31 PM, Greg Paul wrote:
>
>> Kangaroos are very fast mammalian bipeds.
>
>They are also former tree dwellers, use their bipedalism as a height
>advantage for better seeing, and are pugnacious. In these ways they
>remind me of 1. humans, 2. the Australian frillneck lizard and 3. (in
>my imagination) dinos and pteros.
>
>David Peters

Oops. _former_ tree dwellers? I think not. Tree kangaroos have secondarily
adapted to life in the trees (and a pretty ungainly one at that). The
current wisdom is that the bounding gait of kangaroos comes from a
rat-kangaroo -like heritage of small, ground-dwelling animals. But what the
hell have kangaroos go to do with dinosaurs? Is any one suggesting that
some dinos hopped? I thought that had been knocked on the head yonks ago.

Finally, with something like 50 species of kangaroos and allies, there are
only a few species I would describe as pugnacious. THe majority of kangaroo
and wallaby species are rather shy and timid.

Cheers, Paul


Dr Paul M.A. Willis
Consulting Vertebrate Palaeontologist
Quinkana Pty Ltd
pwillis@ozemail.com.au