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Re: Pterosaurs and birds, was Re: birds and pterosaurs
I think a paleontologist may not be accustomed to
think that physical efficency of animal is relative to
it's ecological niche.
I don't believe I'd agree with that. Paleofolks tend to have wide-ranging
lines of thought.
Because soaring bird can lose only few feathers at a
time. With slow speed of growth, big feather length,
many feathers - the cycle of replacement becomes long.
By modulating body weight simultaneously, they might be able to lose more
feathers than one might at first expect (I don't know the percentages
measured in the field). If the aspect ratio is maintained, then changes in
induced drag will be minimised as well (don't know if that happens in life
either, but suspect it does, at least to some extent).