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Re: pterosaurs, bats, flying theropods

On Mon, 23 Dec 2002, James R. Cunningham wrote:

> > escaping capture either from emergency take off
> Pterosaurs, hands down.  No pun intended.

This is not intuitive to me (now there's an acid test, for you!).  But I
thought that vertical take off--surely a big advantage in avoiding a
swooping attack--was a function of the bird's tail fan, e.g.,
pigeons.  Could pterosaurs take off vertically?  And if not, on what basis
were they better at avoiding predators?