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Re: Fukui memoirs, pterosaur paper
They would probably still be able to fly using the bat wing model
(certainly, the smaller ones would have been able to). Perhaps not as
efficiently in the big animals, but perhaps more efficiently in the
small ones. Depends upon which niche they were filling. Dave Unwin's
post makes lots of good points, and I really admire Matt Wilkinson's
work too, though I don't agree with them in all regards. I'd like to
reiterate the thought that there were a lot of pterosaur species out
there, and plenty of room for variation. I don't think we should try to
fit all pterosaurs into one mold, and there is plenty of room for the
bat wing model (keep in mind that the internal stress patterns in the
wing would not be bat-like).
David Peters wrote:
> This needs to be entered into the literature!
Writing isn't really one of my talents. It seems to be so time
consuming that it interferes with making a living and causes my wife to
fuss at me. Maybe someday, unless someone else beats me to it.
> Correct me if I'm wrong,
> but every previous attempt at trying to figure out how pterosaurs flew
> used the bat-wing model.
No. MacCready, DeLaurier, some of Wei Shyy's students, and probably
some others (Rayner?), have all assumed a high aspect ratio wing in some
pterosaurs when doing their calculations. MacCready didn't personally
think his stand-off half-scale replica of northropi flew with its hind
limbs retracted and had to use a semi-rigid, reflexed airfoil and a
short, bent neck to compensate. The femurs would usually be carried in
much the same position for either the bat wing or narrow wing model.
The tibia and feet would likely usually have been spread more outboard
in the narrow wing model, in order to reduce tail drag. In the narrow
wing model, minimum tail drag would occur when the horizontal angle
between the two tibia (what the heck is the plural of tibia? I'm having
a brain glitch this morning) approaches 127 degrees. Needless to say,
the legs wouldn't always be held in that position during flight.