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Re: Fw: Dinosaurs and birds

On Wednesday, April 4, 2007, at 11:16  PM, Anthony Docimo wrote:

Subject: Re: Fw: Dinosaurs and birds
Date: Wed, 04 Apr 2007 22:37:46 -0400

Note that running birds do not deploy their wings while sprinting, unless it is during launch. Wings *can* be used for certain agility actions on the ground, such as clearing obstacles or certain turning maneuvers. However, those are a separate consideration from what was being discussed before.

could maniraptors (not birds) with feathered arms have had an advantage over maniraptors lacking feathers on their arms, when it comes to those turning manuvers and clearing obstacles?

Perhaps, but only if the arms had fairly significant foils. To help in clearing obstacles, the animals would need to produce significant lift in a leaping launch. Turning maneuvers are a bit more tricky. Turning in terrestrial locomotion and turns via aerodynamic lift in flight are quite different. Melding the two gets a bit odd. Nonetheless, airfoils might be usable to maintain balance during very tight turns on the ground, though modern running birds don't seem to utilize this very often. Some birds do seem to use the wings for balance on occasion, however. Secretary birds sometimes deploy the wings briefly during running maneuvers; they also use them as decoys/shields during prey capture.

Perhaps others on the list have further thoughts on this.


--Mike H.