[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

Re: flight stroke (pretty short)




On Tuesday, May 7, 2002, at 01:05 PM, Waylon Rowley wrote:

Pulling the wings forward from that position
to land might also be a way in which the flight stroke
evolved.

I haven't been following the threads on the origins of flight as closely as I should (some of us have work to do. ;-) ), but I going to wade in anyway.


What if the flight stroke evolved as a way of stopping, and avoiding obstacles.

Picture this: a pre-avian glider jumps out of it's tree to glide safely down to the ground. But then shock, horror, a great big prickly shrub looms out in the flight path. Now, our pre-avian glider is going at a reasonable speed by now and has poor maneuverability in the air, but the ground isn't too far away. So what would it do? Well, maybe it would pull its body up (by pushing its long feathered tail up), and move it's arms forward and downward, to halt its progress toward the prickly plant. This might result in a loss of lift at first, but that doesn't matter, because the short drop to the ground is going to be less painful than hitting the prickly plant head on, and getting entangled.

Of course evolution would favour those that managed to produce the most lift and thrust during this little maneuver, hence flapping flight.

I have seen my mynah bird do this a few times, glide, and then flap on landing.

As I say, I haven't been following these threads as well as I might, and I don't know a lot about aerodynamics; so if this is an old idea, or it's just rubbish, go ahead and tell me so. (I know you will anyway.)



John Conway, Palaeoartist

"All art is quite useless." - Oscar Wilde

Protosite: http://homepage.mac.com/john_conway/