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Re: Origin of flight in birds and bats



 SVP Abstracts 2011

 PADIAN, Kevin, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA; DIAL,
 Kenneth, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA

 PHYLOGENETIC DISTRIBUTION OF ECOLOGICAL TRAITS IN THE ORIGIN AND
 EARLY EVOLUTION OF BATS

Huh. I completely missed that one.

 The most basal known bats could fly,

A poster presented at the same SVP meeting said the basalmost bats are only known from teeth. But they're quite close to *Onychonycteris* phenetically and in time. The only mild surprise they offer is geographic; I'll try to find the abstract.

 However, other mammals such as the tenrec do not fly but can
 echolocate in a more rudimentary way, and they lack chiropteran bony
 specializations for this.

Tenrecs echolocate? Wow! Does anyone have a reference?

Famously, humans can learn to echolocate impressively well, so I'm not surprised tenrecs _can_ do it; I'm just surprised that they _do_ it.

 the ability to suspend the body from the roofs of caves appears to
 have been possible for all known Chiroptera, living and extinct. The
 features of cave habitats, although poorly fossilized, may explain
 much about the origin of bats.

Interesting idea. So the wingstroke comes from reaching for insects while hanging from a cave roof?