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Re: secondary flightlessness (wordy)

>However, as Alan Brush & others were talking about in the post-press
>conference milling about time, there are gradations in what we mean by
>"fliers", and it may be that one or both of the new Chinese forms had the
>ability to get off the ground for short pulses of airborn transport.
>Whether we call this "flight" is debatable.
>Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.

An odd thought I had while looking at Caudipteryx (or pictures of it,
anyway) -
a number of birds (eg grouse, cranes) use wing-assisted upward leaps of the
type Tom is talking about as part of their displays.  I think it is reasonable
to assume Caudipteryx used that remarkable tail fan in some sort of
display.  I
wonder if it is fair to speculate that the arm-feathers may have assisted
display by allowing airborne, flap-assisted leaps - or to jump even further
note that if so, display might have been a driving factor in the evolution of
powered flight (a mechanism I have not seen anyone suggest for the "ground-up"
hypothesis).  Of course none of this can be proved.......

Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition              Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court                 
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2          mailto:ornstn@inforamp.net