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Re: Things To Look Forward To - SVP 2005 (Mesa, Arizona, USA) - Part 1

David Marjanovic (david.marjanovic@gmx.at) wrote:

<Whew! Wow. Constant change of wing shape during flight!!!>

  I would like to see the data before I go to far with my thoughts on this
subject, but if these are muscle fibers, then it may be possible these were
contractile, operated in the cheiro- and uropatagia (as the authors suggest the
propatagium-fibers are), and may have allowed the wing to increase or decrease
camber, shorten the chord, and perhaps lay to rest the ridiculous debates about
wing shapes in pterosaurs from the classic Sharov model to the Padian
narrow-wing model, to the atrociously thin, backwards-cambered at the wing
model. If a pterosaur could shorten the chord or increase camber inboard of the
wing-finger, it is very possible it could change the wing shape from
broad-based to narrow-based, and thus preservation may favor various conditions
of the wing, when in fact the wings were capable of all positions. Pterosaurs
are truly magnificent. Now, if only we had a precursor to bats, non-winged but
clearly chiropteran allies with arms shown in the transition. Given the
proposals that this evolution may have occured in less than 10my, we may not
have a lot of fossils to work with in the Palaeocene....


Jaime A. Headden

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

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