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Re: mammal mystery
On Mon, 17 Feb 1997, Ronald Orenstein wrote:
> Birds are bipedal, too, and some of them (eg rails, tapaculos) are past
> masters at close-to-the-ground stealth.
But the situation is ameliorated by their ability to take off. I'm not
sure about rails, but wild turkeys manage to survive. Though they suffer
incredible nest failure from predation, they are able to avoid it to some
extent when they are adults. Dinosaurs (non-avian) didn't have the
fleeing ability of birds or quadrupeds. My point about bipeds is this: it
is a fact (Oh, how I looooove to say that word!) that in most vertebrates
(one should never say _all_, especially in Ron's hearing) their
circumference is smaller than their length. An animal moving through
tangled vegetation presents a smaller surface area if it goes head first
rather than torso first. Quadrupeds go head first and have fewer
obstacles to deal with because of it.