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Re: Campbell's even crazier than a MANIAC? (archeopteryx climbing)

On Sun, Sep 28, 2008 at 9:26 PM, Sim Koning <simkoning@msn.com> wrote:
>  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.

Jungles are especially bad. Lots of rainforest dwellers "pop up out of
nowhere" -- chimpanzees (5-million-year gap from _Ardipithecus
kadabba_ to the Rift Valley _Pan_ teeth) and gorillas (10-million-year
gap from _Chororapithecus_ to extant populations), for example.
(Visualization of the former gap here:
-- note how much better the grassland species are represented.)

I've always been partial to the idea that early stem-bats were jungle
dwellers. But who knows?

T. Michael Keesey
Technical Consultant and Developer, Internet Technologies
Glendale, California