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GLIDING CRITTERS REVISITED
> Is there any extant glider that uses gliding to catch its prey? I
> remember someone on the list talking about a gliding viverrid
> (Darren Naish?).
_Darren naish_ would be a dumb name for a viverrid but, coincidentally, yes, I
am aware of one record of a 'gliding viverrid'. The account - it is based on one
observation from the last century and was published in some obscure little
natural history magazine - describes some sort of viverrid (I forget which one)
climbing to the tops of trees, gliding down, and climbing up again. Most
recently, the account was written up and taken as authentic by Karl Shuker in
_Extraordinary Animals Worldwide_.
I don't believe it for one minute.
As regard this whole gliding----->flapping thing, wouldn't it be so much simpler
if we had extant intermediate forms. I haven't decided where I stand on this
thing as it is true, I agree, that specialised gliders end up as even more
specialised gliders, and we have no trend from extant forms of flapping fliers
evolving from them. The gurus of animal aerodynamics however (Rayner et al.)
have argued that gliding is a prerequisite stage for flapping flight. I trust
their experimental approach, so for the time being I'll sit on the fence. Those
of you arguing that fliers did not evolve via a gliding stage may be wrong in
Hooray for the unicorn squalodelphid.
"Purple feathery dinosaurs - don't you think that would be more exciting?"