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NEW PALAEONTLOGY & BAT FLIGHT
The new issue of _Palaeontology_ just arrived. Contains the
Ray, S. & Chinsamy, A. 2003. Functional aspects of the
postcranial anatomy of the Permian dicynodont _Diictodon_
and their ecological implications. _Palaeontology_ 46, 151-
Bennett, S. C. 2003. A survey of pathologies of large
pterodactyloid pterosaurs. _Palaeontology_ 46, 185-198.
Rubidge, B. S. & Kitching, J. W. 2003. A new
burnetiamorph (Therapsida: Biarmosuchia) from the lower
Beaufort Group of South Africa. _Palaeontology_ 46, 199-
New taxon _Bullacephalus jacksoni_ is argued to be close
to the burnetiids (_Burnetia_ and _Proburnetia_: recently
redescribed in JVP 22) but a basal member of the more
Modesto, S., Rubidge, B., Visser, I. & Welman, J. 2003. A
new basal dicynodont from the Upper Permian of South
Africa. _Palaeontology_ 46, 211-223.
New taxon _Colobodectes cluveri_: closer to 'higher
dicynodonts' than to _Eodicynodon_ (which is argued to be
paraphyletic: _E. oosthuizeni_ [type species] is closer to
'higher dicynodonts' than to _E. oelofseni_). Basal
anomodonts and dinocephalians were used as outgroups.
Moving on to something completely different, Ron asked....
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?
Not sure about mystacinids (there is some amazing footage
of them in Episode II of _Life of Mammals_ but I have this
one on video and haven't watched it yet - I don't think it
shows them taking off though). Vampires though have a
phenomenal flight-initiating leap. With wings closed, they
simply jump up vertically (some of their jump is apparently
powered by the enlarged pollex), only then opening the
Schutt, W. A., Altenbach, J. S., Chang, Y. H., Cullinane, D.
M., Hermanson, J. W., Muradali, F. & Bertram, J. E. A.
1997. The dynamics of flight-initiated jumps in the common
vampire bat _Desmodus rotundus_. _The Journal of
Experimental Biology_ 200, 3003-3012.
For flight initiation in _Mystacina_ check...
Daniel, M. J. 1979. The new Zealand short-tailed bat,
_Mystacina tuberculata_; a review of present knowledge.
_New Zealand Journal of Zoology_ 6, 357-370.
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