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RE: Aw: RE: Arboreal Theropods: The prize at the bottom of the cracker jack box
Dale Mcinnis wrote:
>Is there even a modicum of consensus as to WHY small theropods hit the arboreal
>life in the first place ?? What was the prime >motivation here ??
Predator avoidance is the most plausible -- specifically shelter during the
sleep cycle, or as it is commonly referenced, roosting.
Trees are lousy places to hunt in, if you are a flightless quadrupedal predator
-- the geometry is terrible, gravity assists target escape, stealth is
problematic due to noise and vibration, particularly in the terminal branch
environment -- but for those same reasons, they make excellent havens, assuming
the talent for accomplishing the exploit of vertical ascent is present.
>From the flight evolution perspective, a point usually missed is that
>rudimentary claw-climbing is much easier going UP the tree, especially a
>vertical trunk. Downward claw-climbing requires an inherently laborious
>reversal of the upward climb.
This implies that any aspect of external morphology that creates drag or lift
enhances talent relative to the exploit of descent -- less energy is required,
and, of course, jumping is simply much faster.
And, trees are not bad places to hunt FROM -- perch-hunting is entirely
plausible as a food-acquisition strategy.