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Re: Lemurs and Feathers



> David Marjanovic wrote:
>
> >I still prefer HP Tom Hopp's idea that wings evolved for brooding, and
> >Klaus
> >Ebel's idea that the wingstroke evolved for underwater flying is still
the
> >only explanation for the wingstroke that I know.
>
> Please.  Tell me you're kidding.
>
> >Won't happen in a parachuter, IMHO.
>
> Why not?  Flapping the primordial wing may do wonders for increasing
thrust
> and improving maneuverability.
> ---------------------------------------
> Gordon:
> And I really doubt bats perfected their flapping underwater.

HP Daniel Bensen has asked the same thing offlist:

> So bats and pterosaurs evolved from swimmers, too?  Or is it ony birds
> that required a swimming stage to develop flight?

Ebel indeed considers all long-tailed pterosaurs (and *Archaeopteryx*) to
have been underwater fliers capable of only limited aerial flight (due to
the center of gravity lying too far behind). He also writes that, IIRC, "the
arboreal origin of bat flight is questionable". Of course, I have to
consider myself even less of an expert on pterosaurs, let alone bats, than
on birds; however, bats (and, to variable amounts, pterosaurs) at least have
what I'd expect in a glider-descendant, i. e. a patagium that runs from the
arms to the legs and between the legs, rather than wing feathers attached
only to the hands and forearms.

Flying insects probably did evolve from swimmers. See Pat Shipman: Taking
Wing and a Nature paper that I can't find now, perhaps I haven't copied it.