How did flight evolve?
It seems to me rather obvious that it didn’t happen in one generation, and it happened multiple times (once for insects, once for birds, as I can’t see how birds would possibly evolve out of insects O_o).
So, how did the middle steps progress? What “advantages” did the beginnings of flight provide to their mutated owners that allowed them to succeed as a new species?
As I understand the thoery, first they (“they” being another debate) got feathers that provided them with warmth… but feathers does not flight make. They also had to develop other avian features and biology, including turning their forelimbs into true wings and lightening their load by devloping avian bones and such, correct?
But since critters can’t “select” what they will evolve, was it just chance over millions of years that had creatures mutate to have feathers, survive and thrive, then mutate to have lighter bones, and somehow thrive even being landbound, then wings? Were there steps in between that have “died off” evolutionarily? Or did they develop starting out as small critters leaping around the ground, getting selected for being lighter and more efficient, and their forearms slowly mutating as they used them to glide more and more?