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Re: First Paleoworld Programs

>From: Amado Narvaez <anarvaez@umd5.umd.edu>
 > The pterosaur episode appealed to me more, providing the lay viewer
 > with some insights to the nature of these primitive flyers. As the
 > script pointed out, until the advent of the pterosaurs, only insects
 > had developed wings to invade the air. (If this is incorrect, could
 > someone cite earlier winged vertebrates?)

It depends on what is meant.  Several groups of diapsid reptiles
(relatives of the modern lizards) developed *gliding* long before
the pterosaurs evolved.  As far as I know, pterosaurs were the
first vertebrates to use powered flight.

 > There was an interesting
 > discussion whether the pterosaurs were strong flyers or tended more
 > to soaring, and whether when on land they crawled like bats or walked
 > like birds.

This almost certainly varied with species.  The large forms like
Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus were very likely soarers, but the
smaller Pterodactylus and such like are more likely to have been
powerful flyers.
[I.e., they were like modern birds in this respect].

swf@elsegundoca.ncr.com         sarima@netcom.com

The peace of God be with you.