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re: Archaeopteryx running

From: "Williams, Tim" <TiJaWi@agron.iastate.edu>
To: "'John R Hutchinson '" <jrhutch@Stanford.EDU>
Cc: "'dinosaur@usc.edu'" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Subject: RE: that paper of ours
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2002 12:50:14 -0600
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)

Firstly, thanks for the replies.  I enjoyed reading the paper, though I
admit that most of the math went over my head.

It took me a long time to work it out, myself.  But it is all within the capability of a junior undergrad in physics or engineering to understand; no fancy calculus or anything.  Could be done on paper; we just used computers to help with the sensitivity analysis.

Secondly, John Hutchinson wrote:

> >Very, very interesting stuff.  It will be even more interesting to see >
>this model tested against other, smaller theropods and other
> >dinosaurs.  I would be interested in seeing how other young
> >tyrannosaurs and ornithomimosaurs fare in this model.
>We model a quite small tyrannosaur (FMNH PR 2211 I think), which should >be
the same as an ornithomimosaur I'd expect; about twice as good at >running
as an adult Tyrannosaurus.

I'd be especially interested in using _Archaeopteryx_ as a model,
particularly in light of Burgers' work on running take-offs - with the
forelimbs/wings used as putative thrust-generators.  I wonder if
_Archaeopteryx_'s hindlimbs were adequate for generating enough groundspeed
to assist in overcoming the "velocity gap"?



A good question for someone to study in more detail; I've only done a quick calculation with a simple models of Archaeopteryx before, and got expected results: pretty good at running -- roughly the same as a chicken, with a fair margin of error.  I am not totally convinced by the thrust-generator arguments, nor am I certain that Archaeopteryx could have run exactly fast enough, or how fast that really would be.  I don't think we can presently rule out the possibility for sure, or confirm it.  Run with it, somebody!  I believe I can fly, la dee da....     :)


Timothy J. Williams

USDA-ARS Researcher
Agronomy Hall
Iowa State University
Ames IA 50014

Phone: 515 294 9233
Fax:   515 294 3163

John R Hutchinson
NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellow
Biomechanical Engineering Division
Stanford University
Durand 209, BME
Stanford, CA 94305-4038
(650) 736-0804 lab
(415) 871-6437 cell
(650) 725-1587 fax