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RE: Marsupial flight (ex forelimbs)



--- Anthony Docimo <keenir@hotmail.com> wrote:

> > Most placental mammal
> young that I've seen cling to> the chest - where the
> milk is.
>  
>  don't most small- to medium-sized placentals have
> teats down the full length of their body (chest and
> abdomen alike) ?
> (ie in size from mice to pigs)
>  
>  while cows, giraffes, (and non-ardactyls?)  have
> the teats only in the back -- where a marsupial has
> her pouch.

Perhaps that's part of the reason they don't fly.
Mammals with large numbers of young are unlikely to
fly very far: half a dozen passengers sucking down
free liquids is more reminiscent of airliner business
class.  The only flying ungulate I've heard of is
Pegasus, whose wings sprout from behind the shoulders,
thus alleviating c.g. - c.l. problems (perhaps
Hesiod(?) consulted a paleo-paleontologist).

More seriously, the mention of ungulates brings up a
point.  All the volants I know of - birds, pterosaurs,
insects, & mammals - have appendages adapted for
grasping and climbing.  Perhaps this says something
about the origin of flight.

Glen Ledingham   
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