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Re: Gliders to Fliers? (Was Re: Ruben Strikes Back)



On Sept 23rd, Dinogeorge wrote, in part:

>In my present scenario, the feathered tail was the first aerodynamic
surface to develop in the archosaur-to-bird lineage (a la the popular
reconstruction of Cosesaurus as a tail glider)<

The problem I have with the concept of the tail being the first aerodynamic
surface to develop is that it would place the center of lift for the
unfortunate animal well aft of its center of gravity; which would cause it
to tumble in a---well---an ass over tea-kettle motion. Not particularly
adaptive.  A more probable gliding scenario is one that would select a
critter with a center of lift at or near the animal's center of center of
gravity.  This is precisely what we see in all extant quadrapedal scansorial
and/or arboreal gliders.

Pat