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



Another forward to the list from my email troubled friend Jim C (you'd think
these engineer types would be able to keep up with technology.....)

>Dinogeorge@aol.com wrote:
>
>> In a message dated 10/1/99 4:44:34 PM EST, ptnorton@email.msn.com writes:
>>
>> << 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. >>
>>
>> The tail didn't do much lifting at first; it helped to stabilize leaps
>> through the air between branches, much as the fletching on an arrow keeps
its
>> trajectory under control. When wings started to develop, the already
useful
>> tail helped to stabilize the trajectory like the tail of an aircraft
does.
>> Here tail lift is more useful and would be selected for.
>
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