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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 bird.

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.


--Mike H.