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Re: The "ideal" Eumaniraptoran arm motion
From: Jeffrey Martz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: 'email@example.com' <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Monday, March 01, 1999 9:49 PM
Subject: RE: The "ideal" Eumaniraptoran arm motion
>Try running along, with some pieces of stiff cardboard in your hands to
approximate >the surface drag that would be produced if you had feathers
attached (enough for >near flight conditions) and try to catch butterflies
(or something)using this type of >forearm motion, see if it improves things.
This experiment could be improved. Turn into a theropod, evolve a
semi-lunate carpal wrist and other maniraptorian modifications of the arms
and shoulder girdle, and turn the cardboard into real feathers.
"Aerodynamic drag" of wing feathers is what allows birds to propel
themselves by flapping, and they can do it considerably faster then I can
clap two pieces of cardboard together. I tend to be a little leery of
simple home science experiments as particularly trustworthy models of what
real animals can do.
Still, biological life forms must obey physical principles. They atmospheric
friction, drag, whatever, that would be caused by cardboard or feathers,
whatever, would tend to slow down the arms as they are swept forward in the
"ideal" prey catching motion
that maniraptorans were capable of. (Actually, I think theropods did more
attacking with their jaws, attached to their fairly flexable necks,....maybe
used their arms for "some" holding on).
Anyway,...that`s Physics! What do you think of those mechanical Japanese
fish? (neat "science experiment"...huh?).
Larry Febo ~http://www.capital.net/~larryf/index