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Re: Greg Paul is right (again); or "Archie's not a birdy"
Based on the shape of the wings of the basal chiropteran
_Onychonycteris_, Simmons et al. (2008) suggest that it had an
undulating flight style in which fluttering alternated with gliding,
and, therefore that _Onychonycteris_ represents a transitional stage
between gliding and continuous flapping. So on this basis, bats (or
rather their ancestors) passed through a gliding stage.
Undulating flight means alternating between fluttering and a purely
ballistic phase with completely folded wings. Lots of small birds fly
that way. No gliding in there.
> If bats did go through a gliding phase, then that could be
> rephrased as: 'the mammals that never made it past gliding are
> exclusively herbivores'. :D
That's an interesting point.
Too bad that *Volaticotherium* destroys it.