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From the ground up flight: anecdote



Boehm wrote:
IF birds evolved from the trees down - as flight got better, I would expect
to see tree climbing abilities getting worse, as flight would become the
prefered method of getting up (can any bird "climb" a tree now? the most I
see is gripping on the side of a trunck one and moving a few inches
inbetween flight)

I don't know about trees, but I have seen a (domestic) parrot whose
preferred way of getting from the floor to the back of a chair was to climb
sideways up the supporting pole of a floor lamp (grasp pole with both feet,
extend upper foot upwards, bring lower foot up close to it, repeat) to get
to the top of a table, walk across the table, then jump to the chair.

Mind you, this was a very marginally volant individual: I suspect it had
been captured as an egg, raised in a cage, and only taught to fly as an
adult (by a non-volant human housemate): it could, by flapping its wings
when falling, soften its landing, but I'm not sure it had mastered the art
of gaining altitude by flapping....

Allen Hazen
Philosophy Dept
U of Melbourne