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Re: Pterosaur size (Was: Great in the air, not so good underwater)
As you say, it would depend upon all the above. Argentavis could
barely get off at 75 Kg. I have trouble imagining a 120 Kg volant
So do I. I'm hesitant to say it couldn't happen; but I also cannot see
how it could.
I'd want to look closely at launch technique for a 90 Kg bird. Once
launched, I think they'd be able to sustain flight OK. I mention in
passing, that Qn and all similarly sized pterosaurs are far, far more
robustly constructed than Argentavis magnificens.
I'd definitely want to take a close look as well; that was a very
rough, back-of-the-envelope estimate assuming that the bird is 1) a
convective soarer with relatively low loading 2) extremely robust
relative to Argentavis and the other known teratorns and 3) relatively
long-legged (such as the the longer legged Rancho la Brea condors or
modern caracaras, except obviously much more strongly built owing to
larger mass). To reach 90 kg, the bird would obviously also need a lot
of directional selection for very large size, to the point of allowing
very marginal launch ability. Even with all of the above, I'm not sure
it could happen.