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Re: Terrestriality is a bias



At 01:10 PM 11/06/2000 +1000, Dann Pigdon wrote:
Arboreal or Scansorial? Of course defining where one ends and the other
begins may be difficult when you're dealing with the grey area in
between.

One of the problems we have in trying to assess this whole issue is that we have no real modern analogue to an arboreal bird ancestor - that is, a primitively flightless arboreal biped (I exclude the very different body forms of apes and sifakas). The closet we get are tree kangaroos. Even among birds the only truly flightless bird I can think of that is even semi-arboreal (and it is hardly even that) is the Kakapo, which again is presumably wildly different from a bird ancestor in climbing technique. Without such an analogue I think we have an even greater difficulty than usual deciding what such an ancestor is likely to have in the way of adaptations - and thus it my be very hard to recognize, other than through phylogenetic analysis that avoids speculating about behaviour.
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Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
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