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>I'll clarify what I'm talking about.  Unlike bats and pterosaurs, the=
> patagium on a bird faces forward.  If you look at a bird's skeleton, the=
> bones of the outstretched wing form a backwards facing V.  Also, there is a=
> set of muscles (then tensor patagii longus et brevis) that connect the=
> shoulder and wrist (forming a triangular shape).  The patagium covers this=
> triangle.  To restate my original question, how does the evolution of this=
> feature figure in with bird evolution?

A preliminary question - is there any evidence of this structure in any bird
fossil?  If we don't know when it evolved it may be hard to answer the
question - though I suspect it must have been fairly early in the evolution
of flight, not so much for airfoil purposes as to control the position of
the wrist joint.
Ronald I. Orenstein                           Phone: (905) 820-7886 (home)
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