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RE: Origin of flight



Nick Page wrote:

A few months ago I was sitting in my garden when I noticed what I took to be a rather dimwitted bird catching insects off the lower leaves of a shrub.
[snip]
I then thought that a reptile with proto winglike forelimbs could do the same job.

The more efficient jumpers and flappers would be at an evolutionary advantage and get the most insects.

I wondered about this some time ago...

http://dml.cmnh.org/2003Apr/msg00446.html

The idea is basically a spin-off of John Ostrom's 1970's hypothesis of pro-avians using their proto-wings and jaws to catch flying insects. The big difference is that the insect-catching proto-bird presumably doesn't have to work as hard, because the intended prey is sitting on a leaf, not flying in the air. So it's essentially a difference between aerial hawking and foliage-gleaning as the incipient flight behavior.

Cheers

Tim

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