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Re: Great in the air, not so good underwater
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Habib" <email@example.com>
Sent: Friday, December 08, 2006 6:50 PM
Subject: Re: Great in the air, not so good underwater
Just the same, the running launch system has particular constraints and
Constraint pretty clearly prohibits the forelimb-assisted launch cycle in
birds, and thus I doubt they'll ever produce volant members as large as
Yes. I suspect that there may be constraints due to feather morphology as
well, but that's just a hunch.
Stabilizing selection is probably hard at work, too, though: despite
denying some helpful launch modes, avian bipedality has some great
advantages. In fact, being bipedal gives birds access to some launch
solutions denied to pterosaurs and bats; the ones I have in mind work best
at small to medium body sizes.
Still, I'll bet nothing beat seeing a Quetzalcoatlus catapault off the
ground...makes me sad that they're gone.
Or Hatzegopteryx, or Arambourgiana (sp??). I tend to think of them as if
they were still alive, and it jolts sometimes when I'm forced to think about
their demise. A cautionary tale for developing methods of meteor control
during the next few centuries.
All the best,