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Re: Shaking up the bird family tree
Didn't someone recently find that in a group of stick insects? I'm
afraid I don't have the reference at hand.
I think they may have - I know the paper you're talking about, and
I'll dig it out. That said, the thing about flight loss in phasmids
(and mantids, as well, to an extent) is that the non-flying taxa seem
to be grounded more by gigantism without wing enlargement, than by
true wing reduction (to an extent, anyway. The wings are truly
reduced in some taxa). The upshot is that flight loss/gain may be
unusually plastic in phasmids. Emphasis on maybe.
Michael Habib, M.S.
Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
1830 E. Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205