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Pterosaur wing membranes (Questions)
It seems obvious that as a pterosaur grew and also as its wings took wear
its wing membranes would have to grow.
Is it assumed that they would continously grow out from the base or is there
much thought to the concept of growth in sections of the membrane itself?
Or are we talking about a situation that involves... sheding??
Has much consideration gone into cellular activity moderating and
maintaining the wing membrane? It seems that there would be a use in being
able to heal over extremely small tears or over stressed areas. There are
also benefits to being able to control membrane tension and flexing in some
flight relms, would muscular activity be possible?
Has any research been done on whether Inter-Phalangal movement is possible
since I was last here?
If it is possible there was activity in the wing, what mechanisms would one
expect to control heat loss, especially in conditions that combine moisture
and strong winds. How would blood temperature (assuming a system to cool and
heat the blood as it is exchanged with the animal's extremities like in many
modern cold weather endotherms) effect endurance and energy use.
I have seen pictures of a ramphorynchus specimen that appears to have clear
fan like folding mechanisms apparently radiating from near the base of the
first phalange (much like the feather layout in a Gull except reversed).
It seems to suggest that the wing membrane may have been much stiffer than
is often depicted.
Ottawa Paleontological Society