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Re[1] Quetzalcoatlus questions

> > #1 - What's a reasonable size estimate ? They range from 40 to 66 feet. I'm 
> > pretty sure the
> > upper end is exagerated, but is 50 feet unreasonable?
> Yes, it is unreasonable. It is difficult to restore the missing bits to a 
> span greater than
> about 36 feet when soaring, and the probable span would likely have been more 
> like 34-35 feet
> when flapping. But Quetz doesn't appear to be at the upper size limit for 
> pterosaur flight
> either.

Really? What is?

> > #2 - Would it be unreasonable to think those huge thing could DIVE like 
> > some modern birds.
> > Fly over water, and dive under the surface to grab a fish and then fly out 
> > ...? I heard some
> > birds can dive as deep as a hundred feet (and very fast). But in this case, 
> > the thing's HUGE.
> Pretty unreasonable. Best glide speed is about 45 mph, and whacking the water 
> at that speed
> could give one a headache. Or, given the limited neck mobility of Quetz, a 
> neckache -- sort of
> like hitting the end of the rope on a gallows. Relaunching out of deep water 
> could be
> problematic as well, since Quetz doesn't appear to have had sufficient muscle 
> power to launch by
> flapping. I could easily visualize Quetz launching out of shallow water 
> though.

So it couldn't dive deep... I was thinking it would rather dive in lakes 
instead of rivers to avoid
crashing at the bottom of the stream bed...

> > #3 - What would be a decent weight estimate? 200-300 pounds?
> I think the low to mid 300 pound range. Last I heard, Greg thinks in the mid 
> 400's. Though the
> animal could certainly carry that weight, it would imply that the wing might 
> be operating at a CL
> above the optimum. Insofar as I know, no one has yet completed a really 
> satisfactory analysis of
> the probable mass. I'd need about another 30 manhours to complete mine, and 
> so far I've found
> other places to spend my time. Weights in the 200-300 pound range seem 
> unreasonably low, implying
> insufficient muscle to drive the skeletal frame.Jim


- Thomas Miller
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