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Flying and gliding animals

Animals that have evolved aerial locomotion / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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A number of animals are capable of aerial locomotion, either by powered flight or by gliding. This trait has appeared by evolution many times, without any single common ancestor. Flight has evolved at least four times in separate animals: insects, pterosaurs, birds, and bats. Gliding has evolved on many more occasions. Usually the development is to aid canopy animals in getting from tree to tree, although there are other possibilities. Gliding, in particular, has evolved among rainforest animals, especially in the rainforests in Asia (most especially Borneo) where the trees are tall and widely spaced. Several species of aquatic animals, and a few amphibians and reptiles have also evolved this gliding flight ability, typically as a means of evading predators.

Greylag geese (Anser anser). Birds are one of only four taxonomic groups to have evolved powered flight.