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Re: pterosaurs, bats, flying theropods (fwd)
All this discussion of diurnal raptors applying pressure to make bats
nocturnal, ignores the fact that there are nocturnal raptors, too: owls.
Curiously, the fact that bats have a speed disadvantage and a
maneuverability advantage might work to their advantage in daylight (all
other things being equal), because among flighted predators, the fast strike
is the preferred method of attack. If a prey animal can dodge that, it has a
very good chance of outmaneuvering the raptor in a longer chase. See ducks
and pigeons versus peregrine falcons, and rabbits vs. red-tailed hawks. I'm
not familiar with any diurnal raptor that will preferentially hunt in
scrubby or heaviiy forested areas like owls will, either. Why didn't bats
simply move into denser habitats, more suited to a dextrous flyer?
Obviously, some of them did. Curiously, owls are very maneuverable flyers,
as well as being silent and able to see in conditions that are as close to
pitch blackness as nature provides outside of a cave. This is what lets them
prey on bats.