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RE: Gliding squamate from the Yixian Fm
David Marjanovic wrote:
I am told (http://www.wissenschaft.de/wissenschaft/news/276176.html; in
German) that PNAS has just prepublished *Xianglong zhaoi*, which looks like
*Draco* or for that matter *Icarosaurus* but is not closely related to
either, and is very well preserved, with strengthening fibers in the
gliding membrane spanned between 8 lengthened ribs.
The patagium is reinforced by "tough parallel collagen fibers" otherwise
only known in pterosaurs
and _Sharovipteryx_. As you say, _Xianglong_ is a squamate (iguanian), so
this character is convergent.
The wings have "aerodynamic values" that resemble those of active fliers.
"The wing shape parameters, wing loading, aspect ratio, and the outer area
proportions (one-fifth of the wing) are the three important indicators of
aerial performance... _Xianglong_ is estimated to have a wing loading of
0.24 g/cm^2 (=23.5 N/m^2), an aspect ratio of 6.5, and an outer area
proportion of 8% ... These ratios are close to those in fast-flying birds
with great maneuverability, such as passeriforms."
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