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Re: flapping from gliding



At 04:58 PM 9/27/96 -0500, Ron Orenstein wrote:

>Gamera?

        S. gamera, indeed!

>My suggestion, though, was different - instead of pouncing downwards I
>postulated flight as an aid to an arboreal creature leaping upwards to get
>prey items on leaves, the tips of thin branches etc (something a great many
>living birds do, using their wings of course!).

        You'd be on your own on this one, as it is mostly a subset of
ground-launched bird origins.
        I fully support the idea that much of the flapping et al was a
natural braking motion for vertical attacks.  Sure, it could also be for
braking between branches and all that too (maybe it started as a
trunk-grabbing motion...), but vertical attack also explains how the sicle
claw, whether a climbing claw or not, became exapted for killing.

>Hawks will sometimes begin to eat their prey on the ground.  On the other
>hand, leopards (which fly very poorly) regularly drag kills made on the
>ground into trees.

        I did not mean to imply that your particular take on bird origins
was not plausable.  Sure, where you go after you make the kill is not
dependant on where you came from.  I was simply answering Wayne's question
of what the "protobird" did to make the kill.

        Wagner
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