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Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)

At 02:05 PM 6/4/2007, you wrote:

----- Original Message ----- From: <dinoboygraphics@aol.com>
To: <twilliams_alpha@hotmail.com>; <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Monday, June 04, 2007 9:04 AM
Subject: Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)

Fair enough! Actually, the idea that Archaeopteryx didn't go up trees terribly frequently, except to gain altitude for a launch does not bother me at all. I was merely challenging the uncritical acceptance that Archaeopteryx could fly...and will continue until someone bothers to test it.

John Ostrom asked me to do just that shortly before the Ostrom symposium several years ago. If I remember correctly, some quickly done flapping calculations indicated that it sould be capable of decent flapping flight performance given a pectoral mass fraction of roughly about 7% (about half that of a typical modern bird). It didn't glide too well -- about 2/3 the gliding performance of a pigeon unless the tail was cascadable, in which case performance would have been substantially improved. I have no idea whether the tail was cascadable though. I also did some rather elementary launch calculations that convinced me that it would be able to launch from the ground without significant difficulty (though I didn't buy into the Burger [sp??] ground effect vs. speed hypothesis).

Any chance of a paper being published on this?

That said, I don't doubt that Archie could get into a tree if he wanted to and don't doubt that he could launch from there -- just don't see the need for it.