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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
course!)

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.


Cheers

Tim