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RE: Origin of flight



Birds and small mammalian predators like cats and
foxes often pounce with high leaps rather than the
seemingly more efficient flat leaps, especially in
tall grass.  Perhaps this gives them better vision of
the prey and its evasive action or less resitance from
the ground cover.

Glen Ledingham

 
--- Tim Williams <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com> wrote:

> 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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