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RE: Pterorhynchus dewlap

David Peters (davidrpeters@earthlink.net) wrote:

<Hence any talk of dorsal plumes or a giant crest increasing drag, whether in a
leaping Longisquama or pterosaurs, matters little.  Most pteros were the
lionfish and birds-of-paradise of their day IMHO.>

  I think lionfish sacrifice a lot of speed for the sake of large ornaments
that create immense drag in their high-viscocity environment. That being said,
lion-fish are also predators and the spines are both offensive as well as
defensive in nature, which is how they can afford to also not be exceptionally
fast. The lionfish's quills are the equivalent of the tortoise's shell, in
other words.

  I think this is counterintuitive, however, as such animals as most pterosaurs
don't seem the kind to gently glide around coal reefs in tropical waters, but
are, it may seem, to be predators on the wing (anurognathids, pteranodontids,
nyctopterids, ornithocheirids, azhdarchids, etc.) which require speed and less
drag than normal to survive.


Jaime A. Headden

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

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