<<My recent posts on pterosaur-bird flight comparisons has got me thinking (always seems to happen in the wee hours of the morning!). Anyway,....I`m starting to wonder if pterosaurs, even the smaller ones (ie. Dimorphodon) were capable of taking off from a running start on the ground (as Padian suggests). It seems to me that without the aid of a furcula to store energy, the wingbeat wouldn`t be fast enough for liftoff,...even while running. Perhaps this is why they retain the hand claws. They had to be able to climb to a higher perch (ie. the top of a cycad) in order to launch. (perhaps archaeopteryx had to perform similar). Any thoughts on this??>>
...err,...on second thought, the model I was picturing was a waterfowl taking off, with continuous wingbeat. Then again, a waterfowl has to break free of the waters surface as well. Perhaps if Dimorphodon got up enough speed with wings tucked in, and then extended them when "escape velocity" was attained....? Yeah,...probably was possible with minimal flapping of the wings.
Sorry for the monologue! (yes,...I do talk to myself alot!)
(Still, any comments about all this welcome...8^)