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Re: flight stroke



In a message dated 5/6/02 2:53:27 PM EST, graydon@dsl.ca writes:

<< Finally, unless one wants to suppose initially scansorial modes of life
 ('strong BCF'), the forelimbs were initially specialized for something;
 it's simpler if the flight stoke comes from this type of use, rather
 than from tree-snagging, itself a fairly extensive specialization. >>

I would agree that gliding doesn't seem to be a necessary stage in the 
evolution of avian flight (though it might be for bats and pterosaurs). Early 
dinobirds could well have been flutterers and/or tree-snaggers that used 
their feathered tails as well as their feathered forelimbs in aerial 
locomotion. Keeping their wing locomotor module separate from their hindlimb 
locomotor module allowed them to develop strong hind limbs, an adaptation 
most useful when they were grounded, both to escape predators and for 
takeoffs.