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RE: Flight capablities of Archie & Confucius? Not so good...



--- On Tue, 5/18/10, John Scanlon <riversleigh@outbackatisa.com.au> wrote:

> Eike's reconstruction of Archie
> behaviour reminds me strongly of some agamid
> lizards (e.g. Lophognathus), which perch anything from
> centimeters to metres
> above the ground and throw themselves at passing prey
> items, hitting the
> ground running (sometimes bouncing first). 

Yep. Anoles do that to get lunch sometimes in Florida, and also as an escape 
tactic. 

If there is also an advantage to large body size in some other critical part of 
the life cycle, then the addition of "brakes" is advantageous, and can occur 
incrementally as size increases beyond the point where those "bounces" start to 
become severe. The ability to brake then opens up the physical possibility of 
some directional control. Add in the beach and a prevailing wind, and it all 
seems plausible in a nice sequential kind of way...