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Re: Conway's Nyctosaurus Restoration
David Peters wrote:
> Age or size aside, the proportions appear to be different. Different shaped
> airplane wings give different performance characteristics, so perhaps the same
> can be said here.
Chris Collinson's take was correct. I enclose underneath the dashed
line below the text of an earlier response from a few minutes ago that I
sent directly to Dave, but forgot to copy to the list. Colin has
checked his drawing, and the relative dimensions match within 2-3%, well
within normal variation between individuals. As an aside, it's not
unusual for long bone dimensions to vary by up to about 5% between the
left and right sides of a single individual. Variations between
different individuals can be considerably more without substantially
affecting performance. I set the preliminary computer model up to
handle either KJ1 or KJ2, or any other pterosaur of roughly similar
configuration. I haven't sent the KJ2 numbers to John, Colin, or
Margot, because they aren't different enough to matter. If Nyctosaurus'
bony crest supported a membrane, then the sail for any similarly
configured individual was squarely within the operational range required
for the thing to function appropriately. Different shaped airplane
wings do indeed give different performance characteristics -- but
similarly shaped airplane wings give similar performance, and that is
the case here as well.
All the best,
> David Peters wrote:
> > of the proposed sail. Does the smaller chord, taller mast change the
> > equation? Or visa versa?
> No, not particularly. KJ2 is just a larger specimen than KJ1. long
> bone ratios are slightly different, but within the normal variation
> between individuals of nearly the same size. That said, we will check
> for a mistake -- and appreciate the heads up. Both images were prepared
> from Chris' photos of each.
> > Or ~ is one reconstructed in error? Perhaps one should match the other
> > better?
> Off the top of my head, I think it is OK -- but we will check.
> Thanks again,