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Re: pterosaurs & snakes
I have heard various ideas on the pterosaur subject. The idea which makes
the most sense to me, deals with how "the first experiment in non-insect
flight" progressed. The idea is analogous to how we learn to ride a
bicycle. Children start with training wheels so they can learn the basics.
Once they have the basics down, the wheels come off.
Similarly, the ramphorincoids had tails simply because they were still
developing/perfecting their design for powered flight. The advantage of
the tail was to provide stability in the air. Through evolution, their
wing and body design was perfected to the degree that they no longer needed
As they got rid of their tail, however, the became far less stable in the
air. It was for this reason, that most pterodactyloids have crests on the
head; it serves as a rudder while in flight.
I know this idea sounds very Bakkeresque, but I think it's reasonable. Any
GEOLOGISTS ARE FUN TO BE WITH BECAUSE THEY'RE VERY GNIESS