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Re: Pterosaurs

hmmm, kind of like ichthyosaurs, huh?

On Thu, 30 Nov 2000, Bryan McDevitt wrote:

> Although all pterosaurs flew well, scientists are not
> sure how they got about on the ground. For years,
> pterosaurs were thought to be like bats or birds, but
> scientists now realise that they were not built like
> any other known group of animals. This makes it
> difficult to understand how they moved because there
> is nothing to compare their bones with. By studying
> how bones fit together, scientists are able to see how
> the animal might have used them.  Pterosaurs used a
> variety of ways to take off. Some probably ran along
> the ground on their back legs then flapped their wings
> and jumped into the air. Germanodactylus probably let
> go of the branch it was clinging to and swooped down,
> before flapping its wings to stay in the air. Those
> with very large wings, such as Gnathosaurus, just
> spread their wings and let the wind and air currents
> carry them upwards. The fish-eating Gallodactylus had
> forward-pointing teeth to catch and keep hold of
> slithery fish. Experts think that some pterosaurs
> dived straight into the water to catch fish, while
> others flew low over the surface of the water,
> scooping up fish in their open jaws. Most fish-eating
> pterosaurs had pouches at the back of their throats.
> They may have stored extra food there to take back to
> their nests for a snack, rather like pelicans do
> today.
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