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Re: bauplan convergence

In a message dated 6/17/00 1:19:16 AM EST, rob_redwing@hotmail.com writes:

<< The main problem I have with avian flight originating in trees, is that I 
 can't see a good reason for animals to be leaping from them, unless they had 
 a sort of death wish. Without some form of control mechanism already in 
 place, jumping out of the trees would seem to be detrimental to the 
 population. And, even if some small therapods did spend time in trees, why 
 is it assumed that they must develop flight. Felines have been around for 
 millions of years, and I don't believe there has ever been a flying cat. As 
 far as I can tell, most cats climb down out of the trees instead of taking a 
 20 foot vertical drop. >>

Animals are driven up into the trees by factors that have no regard for what 
will happen to the animals once they're up there. Animals driven up into the 
trees to avoid and hide from ground-dwelling predators (for example) will 
probably not be leaping out of the trees. Rather, they must face the problem 
of avoiding falls. There are many solutions to this problem, but very few of 
these have led to flight. That's why we don't have flying cats, apes, or 
kangaroos, for example.