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RE: NEW PAPERS and flight stroke



On the subject of thylacines, Darren Naish wrote:

> Understandably this matter has been much discussed on the 
> cryptozoology discussion lists - it seems that there is, sadly, 
> no real news to report and that Discovery Channel are just 
> getting publicity for a new documentary they will be airing 
> later this month. Would be nice if this were wrong though. 

Alas, the thylacine remains Austalia's most common extinct animal.  You're
as likely to find a thylacine alive in Tasmania as a dodo on Mauritius.
Sad, but true - and I hope I'm wrong.  Cloning a thylacine may happen some
time in the future, but not in my lifetime (I'm 31).


On a different topic, Waylon Rowley wrote:

>It takes more time for the long tail to move in a distal arch, right?

As Jim implied, this applies to the distal tail (and the distal forelimb as
well).  The presence of feathers on the distal forelimb (the primordial
primaries and secondaries) and tail of _Archaeopteryx_ has been by Garner et
al. (1999) to argue that the initial purpose of flight feathers (remiges and
rectrices) was to generate drag, not lift, during steering motions - the
enlarged feathers could generate the most drag (and later thrust) when
placed far from the body.  To a large extent, this interpretation depends on
whether or not _Archaeopteryx_ had "inner wing" feathers (tertials along the
humerus), which would form a continuous lift surface across the body, as in
modern gliders.



Tim