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Re: The Lizard of Oz
HP Tim Williams wrote, in two separate posts:
> This is *exactly* the kind of idea I was
> driving at. True, the Frilled lizard does not get down to the ground by
> leaping off branches. But, how much more efficient it would be just to
> out of the trees (as some other lizards do - see below). That way, apart
> from landing close to the prey, the predator could keep its eye on the
> the entire time.
This implies that either bird ancestors dropped from low heights -- 2 m or
less, I guess -- or that they already had something to retard their
> Ah, but if the falling critter had draggy-feathery-things on its arms it
> might help slow its fall, and thereby avoid ending its life as a splatter
This _could_ explain the evolution of wing feathers (I prefer brooding for
this), but not that of feathers in general, IMHO, which would have to be
present _and_ quite long before this behaviour evolved.