Author Topic: What use is half a wing  (Read 642 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Fiji

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1323
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
What use is half a wing
« on: April 17, 2012, 02:48:05 AM »
This had me going, 'ha, that's funny'.
So, there I was, feeding the chickens, and one of the former dinosaurs leaps up and flies, vertically up to the level of my face. So, I figure, time to clip their wings. Last time I clipped them was in november. I fetch the scissors, grab the in-my-face-flying chicken and ... hang on, these wings have barely grown since november. This chicken quite literally still only had half a wing. And with that half a wing, it flew, vertically 1m70-ish high (5.5 feet).
And why did it do that? To get at the food in my hand. Theoretically, it would have had an advantage over it's less flight capable sisters.

Yes, yes, I know this doesn't actually prove anything. The chicken still had all the other requirements for flight, the muscles, the length of the bones making up the wing, the hollow bones. Still, the damn velociraptor-wannabe flew, higher than its competitors.
It's not hard to imagine a scenario[1] where a branch of dinosaurs begins growing feathers. For the insulation they give, for the protection agains rain and hail and sandstorms, for the difficulty they provide for predators and parasites to gain purchase. And one of these dinosaurs just happens to have slightly longer/stronger arms. Suddenly a predator shows up. In panic, our long/strong armed friend frantically waves about its arms and, purly by coincidence, flies a few feet. Its buddy also frantically flaps its arms and ... becomes lunch. The long/strong armed dinos keep having more itty-bitty long/strong dinos. Few million years later, voila, birds!

Now, I have a vivid imagination. I write for fun; I make stuff up and I'm rather good at it. But, I can't, for the life of me, figure out what's so difficult about the above scenario!
 1. unless you're actively trying to ignore reason, as some of our more recent visitors insist on doing
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline Brakeman

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1243
  • Darwins +47/-3
  • Gender: Male
Re: What use is half a wing
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2012, 06:21:53 AM »
Perhaps god healed the amputee chicken, but put blinders on your eyes so you could not see this?

 ;D
Help find the cure for FUNDAMENTIA !

Offline Fiji

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 1323
  • Darwins +89/-2
  • Gender: Male
Re: What use is half a wing
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2012, 06:24:41 AM »
Your mind works in mysterious ways, Brakeman.

...

hang on

...

You're GOD!!!  :o
or at least you think you are ... *assumes pensive pose*
Science: I'll believe it when I see it
Faith: I'll see it when I believe it

Schrodinger's thunderdome! One cat enters and one MIGHT leave!

Without life, god has no meaning.

Offline Historicity

  • Reader
  • ******
  • Posts: 2350
  • Darwins +80/-2
  • Gender: Male
  • (Rama, avatar of Vishnu)
Re: What use is half a wing
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2012, 07:06:31 AM »
Your example has been proposed in reverse, that a small predator dinosaur could run along a log and dive forward catching at a prey animal and battering at it with stiff feathers while it closed to grapple and kill.  Feathers wouldn't take a defensive wound.

I don't think so, however.  Quite a few tree climbing species have developed "wings" to add some gliding to their leaps from branch to branch.  The flying squirrel has folds of skin.  The draco volans of the south seas has and flattened and extended rib cage as an airfoil.  These exaptations have gone as far as they could go.  Their flying capabilities   The birds just found an adaptation that could go further and further.

Offline Nick

  • Laureate
  • *********
  • Posts: 10504
  • Darwins +189/-8
  • Gender: Male
Re: What use is half a wing
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2012, 08:51:24 AM »
Do dinosaurs taste like chicken? ;)
Yo, put that in your pipe and smoke it.  Quit ragging on my Lord.

Tide goes in, tide goes out !!!