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Re: The origin of flight: from the water up
----- Original Message -----
From: "James R. Cunningham" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, March 25, 2002 7:16 AM
> > Maybe they simply fold up their wings and shoot
> > through them.
> That may be the likely scenario. If they were to enter a wave with
> their wings extended, instantaneous lift and drag forces would increase
> by a factor of more than 800. That could put some serious stress on the
Yet some birds do it (don't know just how extended their wings are). And
however they get in, flapping around underwater is common.
> > > from gliding to flying [...] that transition is probably impossible,
> > as flapping destabilizes a
> > > glider (screws up its angle of attack and all that). No living
> > glider flaps.
> While I don't think that gliding would neccesarily be expected to lead
> to flapping, why would flapping have to destabilize a glider?
OK... fast flapping might not. The first (relatively slow) downstroke,
though, certainly would, wouldn't it? :-)