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Re: origin of bats/reply 2 to TMK
OK, the simplest explanation for what the ability to generate aerodynamic
forces in significant amounts was used for, is not necessarily gliding, many
animals do little more than slow their fall, without any significant glide
ratio. Even some ants adopt freefall positions, sort of like a skydiver, and if
they fall from a tree, are able to land back on the trunk - doing little more
than redirecting and slowing their fall (glide ratio less than 1:1).
However, the simplest explanation *that I have heard*, as to what the ability
to generate aerodynamic forces *on the magnitude that archie's wings probably
could, relative to its size* was used for, is gliding.
Display doesn't account for the aerodynamic shape, aerodynamics would play some
role in flying insect trapping, but I suspect this aerodynamic effect would be
detrimental, or lead to an inverted wing that wouldn't readily adapt to flight
(unless the animal were to somersault on its back to glide) - which we pretty
much know it did- unless you are one of the very few that doesn't accept that
some form of coelosaur, very closely related to archie, lead to birds.
So, I'm left with the sail/car spoiler idea- where the wings allowed rapid
changes of direction, or the glider hypothesis.
I like the glider hypothesis, and consider the debate over flapping power
potentially irrelevant if local geography and meterology were right, like some
places today, it could probably have flown just fine without flapping at all.