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Re: FUCHSIA and the Ostrom Symposium Volume (long...)
> > But all cursorial birds tend to fly as rarely as possible, or not at all,
> > arguing against the idea that flight is an advantage for a cursorial animal.
> > (This is Ebel's main argument against cursorial models.)
> Ebel should chase chickens.
> Note that chickens and other semi-flightless domestic birds will use
> their wings to steer and to generate lift to help them over obstacles;
When I'm chasing a chicken and he launches and flies 50 yards and lands uphill
from his launch point, not only do I say, "to heck with this", it fits my
definition of flight. In both senses of the word. I don't see chickens as
semi-flightless even though we've been selectively breeding them for increased
wingloading for a long time now.
> > But then... will they use the flight stroke?
> Sure. Becuase the flight stroke is just 'turn real sharply' or 'don't
> fall off this rock face'; there's a smooth escalator, observed in modern
> birds, between 'waves arms, very showy' (ostriches) and the arctic tern,
> migrating from pole to pole on long tapered wings.
I've seen film of ostriches attempting to generate turning forces with their
wings. I didn't pay much attention, but I wouldn't much doubt that they were