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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?
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