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chriropteran upstrokes and flight take-offs



S.M. Swartz, 1992. Wing bone stresses in free flying
bats and the evolution of skeletal design for flight.
Nature 359:726-729
An excellent overview, although a little dated. During
upstroke (and this is something Qilongia seems unaware
of), chiropterans use a combination of muscles:
deltoid, trapezius, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and
deltoid, the wrist and elbows flexing to slightly
close the wing. In extant dinosaurs, supracoracoideus
is the muscle used. In both bats and dinosaurs, the
scapula is the primary site for flight musculature
attachment, in bats the sternum lacking the highly
developed carina for M. pectoralis major.
Darren's question re: flight initiation among bats is
quite interesting. I have watched cave hanging bats
letting go from their perches, almost as if free fall,
expanding their wings and flying off. Multiplied by
millions of bats, the experience is breath-taking. On
the other hand, I have seen insectivorous bats on the
ground, foraging for insects...and this is where a
paper on how the different species of bats initiate
flight from the ground up, as it were, might, just
might, offer one insights into flight initation
mechanisms in pterosaurs.

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