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Re: A New Hypothesis for the Origin of Flight?



Dann Pigdon wrote:

> Don't be so sure. Here in Australia we have a type
> of cockatoo called the Galah. They will often perch
> en-masse on power lines, throwing themselves 
> backwards to hang upside down, then flapping their >
wings to right themselves again.

Now that's pretty frikken weird. I once saw video of a
parrot flying in a loop with its feet on an artificial
perch, which sounds alot like what you describe. 

> With increasing brain size comes the increased
> possibility of boredom. How about a new theory for >
the origin of flapping: BETTER

Yeeeaaaa-no. Now that someone has finally submitted a
more absurd idea than my own, I feel comfortable
continuing this rant. So, give this some thought:

What if flapping evolved in gliders to prevent
stalling at low speeds? I only recently realized that
when a bird flaps it's wings, they go forward and
*down* then up and back. Certainly the tail in
primitive birds and advanced arboreal dinosaurs that
glided would cause them to "nose up" when they neared
the end of a glide. Flapping prevents that from
happening, and the flight can be extended somewhat,
right? Later on it would be used for propulsion,
instead of mere stabilization. Elongation of feathers
would place the center of lift closer to the center of
gravity, and reduction of the tail would help
eliminate the problem altogether. 

<sigh> My mind changes far too often.  

Waylon Rowley

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