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Re: Moa-Tinamou Clade Found Within Ratites

Rails are probably the best example - seemingly weak flyers that have 
nonetheless established themselves widely on oceanic islands and have evolved 
flightlessness multiple times (even on islands with mammalian predators, such 
as Tasmania and New Guinea).

Ronald Orenstein
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, ON L5L 3W2

From: Dann Pigdon <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu 
Sent: Thursday, May 29, 2014 6:52:06 PM
Subject: Re: Moa-Tinamou Clade Found Within Ratites

On Thu, May 29th, 2014 at 5:16 PM, Tim Williams <tijawi@gmail.com> wrote:

> This requires not just the ability to fly; it also requires flight
> abilities good enough for long-distance overwater dispersal.  This
> includes the ancestors of kiwi and elephant birds.

Puffins aren't exactly peregrine falcons when it comes to flight ability, but 
they manage to migrate 
long distances regardless. Of course they have to beat those short wings very 
fast to do so. It 
would seem that long-distance overwater dispersal doesn't require much finesse. 

Birds that are only just capable of managing such a feat are probably the most 
likely to become 
flightless. Especially if continental drift eventually widens the sea gaps 
beyond what they're capable 
of crossing, making migration elsewhere impossible.


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