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Re: origin of bats/reply 2 to TMK

So the question is, if bats were climbing using all fours, why and how would the change to using only the thumbs and folding the other fingers under actually work? IMHO there has to be an intermediate stage because if something is working right (climbing hands) they don’t change without intervention.

This is an assertion, not really a robust conclusion. There is not reason to think that climbing hands can't evolve dual function under specific selective regimes. The fact that we can't imagine a particular story to go with it is of limited importance in this regard. Mechanically, climbing with only digit one, while folding the other digits clearly works (as bats currently use this method). To determine how a standard climbing hand gets to that point, we need more fossil evidence and phylogenetic analysis. Just assuming that there has to be a bipedal stage is not recommendable.



Michael Habib, M.S. PhD. Candidate Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1830 E. Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 (443) 280-0181 habib@jhmi.edu