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Re: pterosaur tracks from SVP
From: James R. Cunningham <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Saturday, October 30, 1999 9:29 AM
Subject: Re: pterosaur tracks from SVP
>I think I may have exceeded my quota for the day, so I'm not copying
>this to the list. Inserts follow. You may forward this to the list if
>Larry Febo wrote:
>> >Although I can see bipedalism in the smaller (earlier) pterosaurs, I
>> also have difficulty seeing them as bipeds in their much larger forms.
>> Especially with partially folded wings. Even minor gusts would have
>> made a bipedal stance fairly unstable.<
>> Quite true. Qn's head and neck also stuck out about 17 feet past the
>> shoulders, and the neck would have had to have been held nearly
>> vertical if bipedal (due to limits on the articulation). with the
>> neck about vertical, and the head horizontal, the animal would have
>> been almost 20 feet tall in the bipedal condition, and most unstable
>> to any upset.
>> >Then again, the relatively long metatarsals don`t seem appropriate
>> for a strictly plantigrade stance either.<
>> In Q, the stance is beautifully plantigrade.
>> >Perhaps they (the larger forms) were capable of both modes, and went
>> digitigrade when sprinting for a takeoff?<
>> My work appears to indicate Q didn't sprint to take off, but did it
>> from a standing start.
>> >In a forward momentum, the apparently overweighted front end would
>> not be a problem.<
>> ??? The front wasn't overweighted. Perhaps I didn't pick up your
I meant everything front of the hip joint seems heavier than everything
rearward in pterodactyloids (minus the long counterbalancing tail). I know
Padian states that the wing bones are deceptively lightweight due to air
spaces , but, there were flight muscles attached that weren`t lightweight
...no? They seem obviously front heavy to me.