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re: the bipedal ptero-challenge

At 06:21 AM 28/01/03 -0500, aegyptiacus@aol.com wrote:
I can't imagine another way to help take-off from the ground than running on hindlimbs while beating the wings. Of course, that doesn't make pterosaurs bipedal, just bipedal-runners-to-help-take-off.
Am I missing something?

Well, have a look at a sparrow sometime. Many birds (indeed most) can take off directly from a standing or perched position, with no running necessary. of course this starts with a bipedal STANCE, but that is not the same thing as bipedal LOCOMOTION.

Perhaps more to the point - does anyone know how those bats capable of quadrupedal locomotion (such as vampire bats or mystacinids) take off? Do they lift their forelimbs from the ground first, or just spring into the air from a quadrupedal posture and start flapping?

Ronald I. Orenstein Phone: (905) 820-7886
International Wildlife Coalition Fax/Modem: (905) 569-0116
1825 Shady Creek Court
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada L5L 3W2 mailto:ornstn@rogers.com