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flight beginnings

List members,

The recent postings on this list about bird origins reminded me that I
should pass along a thought I had about the origins of flight, the
role of feathers, and forelimb and shoulder girdle motions.  I
recently watched a slow-motion video of long jump techniques, and was
struck by how applicable the arm, trunk, and leg motions of human long
jumpers might be to a bipedal terrestrial predator.  The creature
could use the extra surface area provided by forelimb feathers to gain
thrust, height and distance in leaping attacks on prey.  Similarly, I
have watched men and women at the local gym practice their standing
vertical leaps from the floor onto 2.5-3 foot high stacks of gym mats.
Again, the human arm motions are such that the addition of feathers
would provide additional thrust and increase vertical leap height of a
theropod predator.  Just a thought or two.

James Norton