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NEW PALAEONTLOGY & BAT FLIGHT



The new issue of _Palaeontology_ just arrived. Contains the 
following...

Ray, S. & Chinsamy, A. 2003. Functional aspects of the 
postcranial anatomy of the Permian dicynodont _Diictodon_ 
and their ecological implications. _Palaeontology_ 46, 151-
183.

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-
210.

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 
inclusive Burnetiamorpha.

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 
wings. See...

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.

-- 
Darren Naish
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth UK, PO1 3QL

email: darren.naish@port.ac.uk
tel: 023 92846045