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Re: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions
----- Original Message -----
From: "jrc" <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, June 16, 2008 9:55 PM
However, as with the Wright brothers, you can't very well have powered
flight until you can have controlled flight.
Actually, you can, but it leads to a lot of kersplats. What it would more
likely lead to, is very stable flight modes in the earlier forms of flying
vertebrates. Long tails, etc.
And that's exactly what we see in pterosaurs and in birds. Not in bats so
far, though. Should I take this as evidence that flight started ground-up in
pterosaurs and birds but trees-down in bats, so that the bats evolved
control during their hypothetical gliding phase before they started
Personally, I think flight origins were probably neither trees down
nor ground up, but rather a mixture of making
use of all energy sources available.
This requires, of course, that the animals in question were fairly good at
climbing. For theropods that's not so clear. *Archaeopteryx* in particular
has very terrestrial feet.