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Re: Great in the air, not so good underwater

As I said, they're not good at it -- but flapping while flying (or ballistic leaping with relatively large 'wings') is clearly compatible with an evolutionary path towards improved flight performance. The eventually problem with that path is of course that they are not presently equipped to remain aerobicly powered during extended flight. Wanna bet that they won't solve it in a few million years (if they survive) ?

----- Original Message ----- From: "MICHAEL HABIB" <habib@jhmi.edu>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 10:40 AM
Subject: Re: Great in the air, not so good underwater

I don't have the full paper (obviously), but David Alexander references and summarizes it in his "Nature's Flyers" book. Alexander remarks that:

"Unfortunately for lovers of odd natural history, hatchetfish are not capable of powered flight in air. F. C. Weist showed that hatchetfish do make spectacular leaps out of water. They do not, however, achieve a significant increase in distance by flapping. Wiest found that they follow ballistic paths when they leap."