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In a message dated 96-10-15 20:22:38 EDT, martz@holly.ColoState.EDU (Jeffrey
<< I recall that George Olshevsky noted in an earlier posting that the
switch over to a bipedal stance occured not so much for flight or
climbing as to dissasociate the forelimbs from respiration. Exactly how
would this work, and why wouldn't this be equally advantageous for a
ground dwelling animal? >>
No, it's the transition to an erect stance that decouples the rapid sprawling
slither from interfering with the action of the lungs.
In bipedal animals, the forelimbs lose their portal locomotor function
because they become adapted to doing something else, such as (and probably
not limited to) climbing, catching onto trees during branch-to-branch
leaping, gliding, and/or flying. I don't see how quadrupeds could use their
forelimbs as grasping organs in prey capture, supposedly leading eventually
to bipedality; but I certainly see how bipedality might lead to using the
forelimbs as grasping organs in prey capture (and other things).