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James Norton's thoughts about the origin of flight
One detail nags me in James' vision of a bipedal creature developing flight
by leaping up to low perch positions from which he descends upon his prey.
In the example of owls and eagles, there is a significant difference from
the proposed flightless (at the beginning, anyway) biped: upon catching the
prey with their talons, these extant predators use their flying abilities to
return to their perch, or nest, whatever; they still have locomotion. In the
proposed predecessor, what does he do immediately after the pounce? If he
pounces and uses one or both hindlimbs to seize his prey, he has an
inconvenient circumstance for further progress. He must switch the prey to
his beak or forelimbs, since he has yet to develop flight ability. I don't
suppose this is an impossibility, just that I envision an extremely awkward
moment for our developing friend, and one which might just as well work
against further development of this technique as it would to further the
cause of flight. Perhaps I'm not picturing this well.
Anyway, a point for consideration.
Wayne A. Bottlick