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RE: The Epidendrosaurus and aye-aye
>>Grooming? Or perhaps something related to mating? (tickling is the
only thing I can think of there)
Goochi-goo. :) But relegating an entire digit to the purpose and making
it longer than all the rest? Kind of extreme.
>>I would say that the elongated third finger is an early offshot of
mmmmmh, I don't know. Yes, natural selection gets its variation from
mutation, but I find it hard to imagine a mutation that switches the
flight feathers from one digit to another. Controlling whether flight
feathers grow _at all_ would probably be simpler. No, it looks like
there really was some sort of selective pressure operating to make
Epidendrosaurus have a long finger, something strong enough to overcome
the near-universal middle-finger-is-biggest rule.
I'm thinking less and less of my aye-aye idea. Certainly, a
wood-pecker-like specialization is out of the question. What about an
insect-trap (no, that wasn't just a joke) would an elongated third
finger make for a more efficient net?