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Archaeopteryx, bats, trochilid theropods



The Chatterjee/Temlin paper, now on-line, offers
nothing that has not been iterated in numerous papers,
viz. that Archaeopteryx probably had better take-off
capacities by leaping into the air from a limb.
Phillip Burgers/Kevian Padian have explicated the data
in considerably more biomechanical detail.
Of interest, also, is the role of pterosaurs,
feathered dinosaurs, and chiropterans as pollinators
amidst radiating angiosperms. The dinosaurs and
chiropterans are the subject of an interesting paper
by Nathan Muchhala in a forthcoming issue of
Oecologia. In Costa Rica -- that wonderland of
numerous dinosaurs and bats -- Burmeistera
cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora are pollinated by
both. Careful field work by Nathan reveals that bats
pollinate both, but trochilids pollinate only B.
tenuiflora because of different floral morphology. As
he writes of B. tenuiflora, its "generalized
pollination system...demonstrates that there can be
overlap in the boundary between ornithophily and
chiropterophily, and that nectar production production
and timing of anthesis do not serve as barriers
between these syndromes. The high intraspecific
variation in floral color from green to red or purple
did not correlate with either noctunral or diurnal
pollen deposition". The different behavioural patterns
of the taxa are related to floral morphology and
accessibility.
Thus, it may be that analogous pollination syndromes
could have prevailed among pre-K/T flying dinosaurs
and small pterosaurs who may have shared similar
ecomorphologies.
Nathan Muchhala's paper is: 2003, Exploring the
boundary between pollination syndromes: bats and
hummingbirds as pollinators of Burmeistera
cyclostigmata and B. tenuiflora (Campanulaceae), Oecologia.

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