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theropod apodiformes



Robert Bleiweiss has published a significant new
paper, continuing his extrapolation of his ideas re:
the explosive radiation in the Tertiary of the sister
taxa among Apodiformes within Theropoda. Swifts pursue
insects whereas trochilids hover for nectar, and, as
Bob notes, F.G. Stiles in 1995 correctly observed that
swifts and trochilids have closely related flight
behaviours, both sharing "selection for aerial
foraging [that] appear to have shaped the observed
evolutionary patterns of TPB [M. tensor propatagialis
pars brevis] in apodiformes". And, Bob clarifies a
trochilid puzzle (they are not easily observable, to
be sure): Eutoxeres is the most primitive living
trochilid theropod, "does not support itself with
beating wings, unlike other hummngbirds that cling
while feeding...Thus, foraging by primitive
hummingbirds and swifts places greater emphasis on
perching whereas derived hummingbirds and swifts spend
greater effort feeding on the wing". 
Robert Bleiweiss, 2002.
Patagial complex evolution in hummingbirds and swifts
(Apodiformes): a molecular phylogenetic perspective.
Biological Journal {London] 77(2):211-219

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