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RE: origin of bats/reply 2 to TMK

Jeff Hecht wrote:

> I suspect there was a lot going on when maniraptors evolved gliding and/or 
> flight, and whatever actually happened was far from obvious.

I thoroughly agree.   Modern birds represent the only surviving lineage of 
aerial theropods, so we're biased in thinking that theirs is the only style of 
flight that 'worked'.  But early avian and near-avian maniraptorans were 
probably undergoing all sorts of experimentation in aerial locomotion, and it's 
difficult to know which one(s) led to powered flight.  

> Animals can evolve some pretty odd behavior that works in their environment. 
> Early in the 2nd episode of Attenborough's Birds (the one on 
> flight), he shows shearwaters climbing a slanting tree, pumping their wings a 
> bit like in Wing-assisted incline climbing, then flying off. 
> According to Attenborough, they need to climb the tree to launch themselves 
> into the air so they can fly, and they pick one tree that's 
> easiest to climb. 

>From memory, these shearwaters (were they Japanese shearwaters?) also used 
>their wings in trunk-climbing, to help clasp the trunk.


The i’m Talkathon starts 6/24/08.  For now, give amongst yourselves.