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Re: flight stroke (pretty short)



----- Original Message -----
From: "Williams, Tim" <TiJaWi@agron.iastate.edu>
Sent: Tuesday, May 07, 2002 11:28 PM

BTW, some server didn't work the last few days, so I had no Internet
connection. That's the reason why my last e-mail arrived today when I wrote
it on Monday/Tuesday.

> David Marjanovic wrote:
>
> > Maybe when it doesn't realize that what it's doing is novel. :-) (A few
> > proposed examples are: [snip] FUCHSIA -- the theropods
> > flapped faster and faster and realized afterwards that they had left the
> > water;
>
> Flippant response: "Hey, this is pretty cool!" said the suddenly-airborne
> _Archaeopteryx_, flying out of the water in a watery plume.
"Unfortunately,
> those fish I was chasing can't fly - and I'm hungry!!"

Maybe it's the the other way round. "Hey, this is pretty cool! That fearsome
sea croc isn't following me any longer!" :-)

> Serious response (and taking this FUCHSIA model seriously for once): This
> swimming-->flying model only defers an explanation for how repetitive arm
> movements (incipient flapping) came about.  How did a feathery forelimb
> start to be used as a swimming device?  Swimming, after all, requires
> repetitive strokes?

I simply assume a winged coelurosaur thrown into water would wave around
everything it has and would soon find out that waving its arms would be more
efficient than simply continue walking as most mammals do. Of course I can't
deny that this is a just-so story. :-]

> By the way, speaking of marsupials, a new possum has just been described
in
> Australia: _Trichosurus cunninghamii_.  Specimens have been known for a
long
> time (alive and well), but only recently recognized as a very distinct
> species.

Great.