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Re: birds and pterosaurs (long)

They were flap-gliders. Primarily soarers with the capability of very powerful flapping in short bursts of perhaps 1 to about 70 wingbeats depending inversely upon size (flapping in anaerobic bursts of roughly 30-45 seconds or less). Their wings were more efficient than those of albatrosses, but their heads and necks were draggier. For equivilent size, overall flight performance could be expected to be roughly similar with pterosaurs perhaps having a bit of an edge. Mike is right in that pterosaurs' wing planform is more specialized for extracting energy by dynamic soaring, lee shear, and cloud streets than for inland thermals. They would, however be able to use inland or marine thermals quite effectively as well. Wing loading, wingspan, and performance were quite similar to some one-man sailplanes. The big ones were not lightly loaded, but they did have a tendency toward spanloading -- which allows very large wingspans.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Roberto Takata" <rmtakata@gmail.com>
To: <mhabib5@jhmi.edu>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 1:55 AM
Subject: Re: birds and pterosaurs (long)

Is still validy the assumption that pterosaur was mainly a soaring
flier (a some kind of big kite)?