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Re: four winged Archaeopteryx
Actually, it would be interesting to compare the total weight, drag and lift
of the tails of the biggest tailed modern birds than can achieve flapping
flight to Archaeopteryx. The bony tail of Archaeopteryx was not really heavy,
was a small minority of total mass. Even so it may have been less
aerodynamically efficient than that of a similar sized tail of a modern bird,
but that is
to be expected in a basal flier.
We may never know whether the tail of Archaeopteryx was used to generate
lift. That depends upon whether Arch was tail heavy or not, and that depends
the relationship between the axis of wing lift and the center or gravity, and
that depends upon the distribution of body mass which is not reliably
reconstructable, and also upon the fore versus aft sweep of the wings which we
determine because it depended upon the unknowable question of how the beast
held its wings.