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Re: Microraptor was a competent glider (but nothing to write home about)



On Fri, Sep 20th, 2013 at 2:31 PM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:

> Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au> wrote:
> > Gliding across water barriers that you wouldn't want to swim across (due to 
> > the presence of
> crocs,
> > labyrinthodonts, big predatory fish, pliosaurs, etc) would certainly be 
> > useful. It'd enable
> something
> > the size of Microraptor to reach areas that similar sized terrestrial 
> > competitors couldn't
> (without
> > risking being eaten). They'd only have to worry about being taken by a 
> > pterosaur.
> 
> 
> Yes, but how does the glider get out again?  It can glide in... but it
> can't glide out.  Poor _Microraptor_ would be marooned.

They'd have to make sure there were trees on both side of the water barrier, if 
they planned on 
returning.

At the very least it might have enabled them to cross potentially dangerous 
rivers with trees lining 
both banks. Chimps and bonobos seem to have speciated due to the Congo River 
keeping their 
populations separated. For a poor swimmer, a wide or fast-flowing river can be 
a major obstacle. 
Even good swimmers might not make it across depending on the ferocity of 
aquatic predators.

-- 
_____________________________________________________________

Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj
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