Leaping insectivorous ground animals is a near certain chimera

lovethee History

Here we come to a very interesting subject, and must digress from the main thesis for awhile. (Realistic dinosaur costume)At various times it has been argued that birds learned to fly from the ground up, not the trees down. John Ostrom revived this idea tn 1974 with his vision of protobirds as insect snatchers, using long arm feathers to ensnare flyrttg insects. Ostrom has since abandoned this idea as untenable, but it did inspire much needed debate on the subject.


Caple and company took the insect idea and modified it so that protobirds were using their jaws to catch flyrng insects.(walking dinosaur costume)Of course this would have required ground-to-air leaping. Caple and colleagues constructed an aerodSmamic model showing how increasingly long arm, hand, and tail feathers improve the range and accurary of anti-insect leaps.


Alas, the whole idea of leaping insectivorous ground animals is a near certain chimera. No such animal is alive todav. and for good reason. Insects are small food items, and even a small warm-blooded protobird would need to eat some 100 to 200 halfgram- size insects a day (Animatronic dinosaur).


Most small animals have daily foraging ranges of only 1.0 to 4.0 kilometers. Anything beyond that stretches their energy budgets too much. Even a slow-running protobird would cover this foraging range in less than half an hour, far too little time to catch the multitudes of insects it needed. Not only that, but the very idea that protobirds, which were just learning to fly, could make a living by catching high-performance flying insects is too much to swallow. It would be like tryrng to shoot down Spitfires with a 1908 Wright Flyer. Only specialized, fast-flying birdsthose that can cover large volumes of airspace rapidly, outrun and outmaneuver their targets, and do it at low cost since fl)nng consrunes much less energy per distance traveled-are successful aerial insectivores. So restorations that show protobirds chasing dragonflies and the like, and there have been a great many of late, are in gross enor.