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Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopter

Sim Koning wrote:

What I noticed was that these animals were "flapping". By this I mean they were providing a small amount of thrust by undulating their tail up and down. Here is clear example of the most advanced gliding mammal in the world using a primitive form of flapping thrust.

I'll have to look back at the videos in some detail, but I'm fairly certain that the undulations in question are a stabilization effect, and do not produce thrust.

I also wanted to ask, do animals that live in heavily forested areas fossilize easily? If not, this could explain why the major groups of flying animals seem to "pop up out of nowhere". Their ancestors could have lived in thick jungles where animals would rapidly decompose and be consumed by predators.

The taphonomy of forests can be complicated - some forests have left extensive fossil remains, but many do not. So yes, there could very well be a sampling bias related to taphonomy.



Michael Habib, M.S. PhD. Candidate Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1830 E. Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 (443) 280 0181 habib@jhmi.edu