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Re: birds and pterosaurs

MikeT, I tend to agree with you on this, in that I doubt very-high-level partitioning (I do believe there was substantial partitioning). The pterosaurs that I usually work on (Qsp & Qn) appear to have been inland animals, freshwater feeders. That said, pterosaur wing planform is quite effective at extracting atmospheric energy from marine and shoreline processes. More so than the birds of the time. At that time, bird wings do not appear to have had those specializations (they didn't develop till about 5 million years after the pterosaurs were gone), so most birds (depending upon their specific niche) would have been at a tremendous disadvantage over the water and near the shore. That said, I'd still bet that there were some birds that made a decent living near the shore, and a number of pterosaurs that did quite handily inland.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Taylor" <mike@miketaylor.org.uk>
To: <brushes2@juno.com>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, October 10, 2005 4:22 AM
Subject: Re: birds and pterosaurs

Seriously, this sort of very-high-level partitioning seems pretty
nonsensical to me.  Given the huge morphological diversity of both
these clades, proposing that pterosaurs preferred shorelines and birds
preferred inland areas seems like suggesting a similar distinction
between, say, mammals and "reptiles".  In reality there will surely be
many members of both groups living in each environment.