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Re: flight stroke (pretty short)



----- Original Message -----
From: "John Conway" <john_conway@mac.com>
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 6:36 AM

> Picture this: a pre-avian glider jumps out of it's tree to glide safely
> down to the ground.

AFAIK it's rather rare that something glides to the ground. All the few
gliders I know something of glide from tree to tree (and all the few
parachuters I know something of jump from a higher to a lower branch, not to
the ground either); gliding involves small angles, usually 5 -- 8°, so
reaching the ground that way takes a while.

> But then shock, horror, [...]

Probably a good idea, but I don't think that flight would evolve that way:

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

You'd still not get the repetition, I think.

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

It can already fly and has already evolved sophisticated manoeuvering
abilities as well as that to flap fast...