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Re: Tail feathers

Bats don't need tails to fly.
The insectivorous bats with a patagium use it to capture insects in
flight so aren't releasable back to the wild if this mebrane is damaged
as they can no longer feed with any great skill.

But Mexican Freetail bats (to name just one) has a tail like a mouse-not
aerodynamic in the least.  There are bats with tiny little stubs for
tails also.

Birds may use the tail feathers as a counterbalance in perching and
duirng the hover (as in raptors hovering over an area before a drop).

-Betty Cunningham

tlford@ix.netcom.com wrote:
> I went to the Miners Gem in Old Town (San Diego) to work on the Carlsbad
> Nodosaur like I alway do on Saturday. I found out that a Mocking Bird
> had gotten into the store and one of the workers tried to get it out,
> but had accdentally pulled all it's tell feathers off. I saw it flying
> around with no problem today.
> 1), is looseing the tail feathers a defensive move?
> 2). Are tail feathers really needed to fly? I know birds do use them to
> break and manevor, but just to fly around, is it really needed? The
> reason I ask is because of Pterodactyloid pterosaurs don't have tails,
> and I've often wondered how they would manever with out them. Possibly
> very well, if they were like the mocking bird.
> Tracy