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Re: FW: The ground-nowhere hypothesis on the origin of bird flight (joke)



On Tue, Oct 13th, 2009 at 7:37 AM, dale mcinnes <wdm1949@hotmail.com> wrote:

 
> The birds I mentioned do pounce from trees. Sure. Their hunting
> range has greatly expanded because of their highly evolved modern
> capabilities. They can also fly after their prey.
>
> Any proavis as you would point out would have a fraction of that=20
> range but doesn't make it any less viable.

It would seem to me that the primary use for wings (in extant avians anyway) is 
to *slow* the rate 
at which the creature plumets to the ground, or to actively reverse the 
direction of travel and move 
upwards against gravity.

I'd think any creature that dropped on it's victims from any decent height 
would want to be moving 
as fast as possible, and not be slowed in their descent. If a light-weight such 
as Archie was 
to 'gently' flutter/glide down onto it's prey, not only would the prey have 
plenty of time to move out 
of the way, but the resulting impact of said light-weight moving at a reduced 
speed would be like 
trying to beat someone to death with a feather pillow (fun, but ultimately 
pointless).

Pouncing onto prey cat- or fox-style (with a near-vertical leap) only works if 
you hit hard and fast.
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1220/1475048226_86b49e9b4b.jpg


-- 
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Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist                Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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