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Re: Origin of flight



Dann Pigdon writes:
 > Vertical pounces take advantage of that blind spot, plus I imagine
 > that using gravity to accelerate the predator's mass towards the
 > prey (and then crushing them against the ground) is probably more
 > energy efficient than a horizontal leap (where forces are generated
 > by muscles alone).

I find that hard to buy, unless you're talking about predators that
climb a tree beforehand and then drop out of it.  If you're just
talking about a high-trajectory leap then the force available to the
predator to crush the prey on landing is precisely the force it
generated itself when it pushed off from the ground (less air
resistance, friction and sales tax).

 _/|_    ___________________________________________________________________
/o ) \/  Mike Taylor    <mike@indexdata.com>    http://www.miketaylor.org.uk
)_v__/\  "I'm not wild about blowing the year's travel money just so I
         can stick my hand up a Diplodocus's ass and palpate its sacrum"
         -- Matt Wedel.