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Re: The life of birds



I just had a curious thought....how climb-able are cycads?   Wouldn't
you NEED fingers to climb around a branchless trunk?  How climbable are
fern trees?  Do squirrels, apes, and other arborial animals live in much
of a habitat with cycad or fern-like growth?  Or are these all
slitherers and flyers nowadays?

If the protobird had retained hands and fingers so as to be able to
climb, it would only be after trees with decent branches (and shrubs as
well) became common that the fingers could be lost without losing
arborality abilities-right?

-Betty Cunningham

Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
> 
> In a message dated 12/3/98 4:17:50 PM EST, dannj@alphalink.com.au writes:
> 
> << Dave (or at least his researchers) makes a good argument on why
>  flight may have developed. He uses the fact that many birds have
>  become flightless in predator-free environments to suggest that
>  flight may have originally arisen to escape predation. >>
> 
> This argument is given some space in my Mesozoic Meanderings #2 (1991), and
> I'm sure it must go back many decades before that. One minor point:
> arboreality in archosaurs was likely an attempt to escape from predators;
> flying would come later, as a solution to the Falling Problem in a lineage of
> arboreal archosaurs.