Friday, November 19, 2010
What are the answers to these questions, anyway? For the first one, clearly not any single individual deinonychosaur would be able to spontaneously fly if it belongs to a taxon that can't fly to begin with. However, we do know that some small deinonychosaurs could probably fly. Presumably, a newly-hatched deinonychosaur wouldn't be able to fly, but we don't know how long it took for them to fledge.
For the second question, I suppose it also depends on what kind of neornithine we're talking about. Flightless ones will never be able to fly no matter how much they eat, but what about flying ones? Some birds feed their young every fifteen minutes. Assuming it generally takes around twenty days for these birds to fledge, they'd have eaten around two thousand insects by the time they leave the nest!
I don't think we can give a definite answer to the last question. My guess would be "a lot".