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Re: Science feather strength debate

Erik Boehm <erikboehm07@yahoo.com> wrote:

> Sure, if we look at living pure gliders, they are basically all tree 
> dwellers, and their glide duration is proportional to the elevation they 
> launch themselves.

Most gliding mammals use gliding to commute within the canopy, from
one tree to another.  It's a very energy-efficient way to travel, and
minimizes the animals contact with the ground.  (Unless it falls, of

I doubt very much that _Archaeopteryx_ fits this strictly arboreal
model.  Its climbing/perching adaptations were poor, and (as David
says) there doesn't appear to be any tertials - so the glide surface
wasn't contiguous.

> I wasn't so much suggesting commuting *between* islands, as noting that today 
> there is a correlation between coastal areas, and good ridge soaring 
> conditions.

Sorry, that was my fault - I didn't mean to imply that you suggested
that Archie was island-hopping by wing.  It's just that there is an
intuitive attraction to the idea that Archie used its primordial
flight abilities to get from one island to the next.