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Science2 - 00064

Science2 - 00064 - Untitled Conquering the Air 6 The last...

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Untitled Conquering the Air 6. The last great haunt of life is the air, a mastery of which must be placed to the credit of insects, Pterodactyls, birds, and bats. These have been the successes, but it should be noted that there have been many brilliant failures, which have not attained to much more than parachuting. These include the Flying Fishes, which take leaps from the water and are carried for many yards and to considerable heights, holding their enlarged pectoral fins taut or with little more than a slight fluttering. There is a so-called Flying Frog (_Rhacophorus_) that skims from branch to branch, and the much more effective Flying Dragon (_Draco volans_) of the Far East, which has been mentioned already. Among mammals there are Flying Phalangers, Flying Lemurs, and more besides, all attaining to great skill as parachutists, and illustrating the endeavour to master the air which man has realised in a way of his own.
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