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RE: origin of bats/reply 2 to TMK

Patrick Norton wrote:

>> Given the size of many of these ground predators, and to borrow a quote
>> from Jurassic Park (Lost World)...
>> "Actually, it would put them at very convenient biting height. .."
> Evading ground predators was only one of the possible advantages I
> mentioned. 

Yep; and my apologies if my response came across as a criticism (it wasn't 
intended as such).  You also mentioned nesting, and opening new niches for 
predation.   I'd certainly like to hear more about the latter.  Are you 
thinking along the lines of small maniraptorans (especially microraptorines) 
launching ambush attacks from trees against ground-dwelling prey?

In general, pre-avian cursorial maniraptorans had so few arboreal/scansorial 
adaptations that I doubt that predator evasion or nesting behaviors would have 
been sufficient to lure such maniraptorans into the trees - unless they could 
fly (thereby avoiding a vertical ascent) and perch (which allowed these bipeds 
to roost).  For example, when a large predator is in sight, why is heading up a 
tree preferrable to simply running away?  The morphology of pre-avian 
maniraptorans tells us they were decent runners (some more than others), but 
atrocious climbers.  And so far (although this could change) there is no 
evidence of flight or perching adaptations in pre-avian maniraptorans.

> And even though I really hate to dispute Hollywood science, 

I'm quite happy to dispute Hollywood science.  I just haven't found any yet.    


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