[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: Arms into wings



In a message dated 3/3/99 3:16:05 PM EST, th81@umail.umd.edu writes (quoting
Tim Williams):

<< >I know this goes all the way back to Darwin and the Evolution of Incipient
 >Structures.  What good is half a wing, etc?
 
 49% better than 1% of a wing (as Dawkins would say...). :-) >>

The obvious environment in which >any< size wing is better than no wing, and
in which >any< kind of larger wing is better than a smaller wing is
>acronomic<--in high places, such as up in trees, high up on vertical cliffs,
and so forth. >Any< kind of wing, and >any< kind of fluttering motion will
help to break falls, which are a perpetual hazard in such environments. The
Falling Problem >compels< the evolution of aerodynamic structures and other
means of lightening the body to alleviate the effects of impact (e.g.,
becoming smaller); there is no need for elaborate, counterintuitive
evolutionary scenarios, such as wings initially evolving from forelimbs as
insect traps, and so forth, filled with all kinds of weird exaptations.