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Re: Tail feathers

<<How likely is the possibility that they flew more or less like bats?  
I've always thought of pterodactyloids (and I guess our late Cretaceous 
biggies) as being hybrids of birds and bats, at least as far as flight 
mechanisms go. Is this reasonable?  Way off?  Kinda sorta but not really 

Pterosaurs, in their flight apparatus, were more similiar to birds.  
They had a keeled sternum (the carina or keel in pterosaurs is the 
interclavicle according to Dave Peters), an expanded sternum, and an 
elongate coracoid.  Wellnhofer (1991) has reconstructed the pterosaur 
myology for the flight apparatus and he has concluded that though it is 
different from bird myology in some small details, it is overall very 
similiar.  Pterosaurs also have a pteroid bone that supported the 
brachipagatium, which would have functioned much like the alula in 
birds.  The fiber-supported membrane was similiar from that of the avian 
wing because each of the fibers supported like feathers.  


(If I can get any answers out of this question I would be rather 
surprised.)  Does anybody else think that Chiroptera is diphyletic as 
supported by Pettigrew and others?  Though I do find the analyses of 
Simmons and Novacek very interesting and compelling, I am intrigued by 
the similiarities that Megachiroptera shows to Dermoptera and Primates 
(mostly the neurological similiarities) and not to Microchiroptera.  
Anybody want to concur or disagree?

Matt Troutman

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