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Re: A few questions about pterosaur anatomy



Do you know if anyone has done any research on the sediments found in the
wing membrane impressions of the famous rhamphorynchus roadkill specimen (I
believe specimen number 855 at the British museum)?
I am curious as to how valid the patterns of the left wing are?

Thanks for the information, Chris Bennet. I will look it up. Do you know if
there are any other Rhamphorhyncid wing impressions of similar quality to
the one
mentioned above?

James R. Cunningham, I still am in many ways in the 1940's when it comes to
aerodynamics, but I understood most of what you wrote. Thank you for the
detail.

One point where I think there might have been misunderstanding though:
"drooping the leading edge by the amount that you suggest would make the
aircraft unflyable."
I intended to ask about rotation of the pteroid bone forward 90 degrees from
the front of the wing as opposed to rotating it down.

Anyway, could the pteroid bone be moved independantly of wrist movement at
all?

I am just begining to realise how poor the record is. It seems like almost
all of the specimens that managed to survive (especially in the Cretaceous)
are of relatively large coastal animals. I had just read an argument
suggesting that
short tailed birds wiped out most small pterosaurs (the author was using
this to support the position
that most theropods descended from early birds). Anyway, it seems clear that
the
pterosaur wing was able to compete quite well with the bird wing (which has
quite a few advantages
over traditional pterosaur reconstuctions).

Would there be much benefit in flight control if there was a means to
stabilise and control the movement of the wing membrane somewhere around the
second phalange that was independant of wrist/wing flexing?

Thank you both for answering my questions. It has really allowed me to
explore a whole area of anatomy and flight that I never thought I would get
a chance to look at. I have learned about pterosaurs, functional anatomy
and aerodynamics in much more depth than I would otherwise.

-Jonas Weselake-George