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Re: Archaeopteryx flight

The fingers can act as vortex generators, which serve a purpose very similar to that of the alula. Alulas are not long enough to make effective slats or slots, so tend to work more as vg's or snags, as do pterosaur hands and very likely, early bird hands. Pat is correct. And, vg's have been tested many times, on airplanes.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Patrick Norton" <ptnorton@suscom-maine.net>
To: <augray@sympatico.ca>; "Dinosaur Mailing List" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Thursday, October 20, 2005 4:49 PM
Subject: Re: Archaeopteryx flight

Jon Barber wrote (in part):

D) It lacked an alula, which assists in low-speed flight and maneuverability control.<

It's been my hypothesis for a long time that the aerodynamic function of the alula could have been fulfilled by the exposed finger claws of early birds such as Archie (see my post from several years ago at http://dml.cmnh.org/2001Jan/msg00543.html).