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RE: Pterosaur wings clarification



 
David Unwin wrote:

> Perhaps 'coupled' pertaining to a brachiopatagium
> attached to the hind limbs and 'uncoupled', pertaining to a free hind
> limb might be better?. 

These distinctions certainly need to be stressed.  The divergent strategies
of birds and pterosaurs in evolving the flight surface in particular and the
flight apparatus in general requires an explicit terminology with regards to
both.  However, the term 'coupled' pops up in the evolution of the avian
flight apparatus, in the functional coupling of the wings and tail in flight
(Steve Gatesy's 'locomotor modules' etc).  Thus, the wings and tail of birds
are functionally coupled, but morphologically discontinuous.  I would humbly
propose that the extension of the brachiopatagium to the hindlimb be covered
by a more explicit term, to avoid confusion.  Bialar vs quadralar, or
pectoral vs pectoropelvic wings, for example, in the context of the
incorporation of the forelimbs +/- hindlimbs into the flight surface.  

Sorry for the rushed response to an extremely interesting post.  Hope it
made sense.

Cheers

Tim