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Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Habib" <email@example.com>
To: "DML" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, May 23, 2007 9:44 PM
Subject: Re: Hone and Benton 2007 (their second paper)
In addition, the build and mechanics of most pterosaurs are not set up
such that they would gain a great deal by bipedal locomotion (as best I
can tell, in any case).
I agree, but also note that they would need the ability to take a couple of
bipedal steps or hops when landing (sort of a 'stutter-step', an asymmetric
hop just before the first manus touches down). On landing, there would be
no need for a digitigrade pes, nor for the ability to run bipedally.
I doubt that bipedal running would be faster for them,
I would expect bipedal running to be slower for them than quadrupedal
running, but don't see the need for them to have much of an ability at
either. That said, I speculate that they could move rather rapidly with a
quadrupedal gait, though I haven't seen any trackways that illustrate them
and quadrapedal launching would be more powerful (and is supported by
several aspects of morphology, especially in larger pterosaurs).
I agree, and hope to have more to say on that at Munich, budget permitting
Just because we cannot see the benefit does not mean it did not exist, but
it does make me more skeptical of the concept of bipedal progression in
pterosaurs as a common means of transport.
So far, I've not seen any trackways that demonstrate more than a couple of
consecutive bipedal steps.
The fact that the interphalangeal lines do not preclude bipedality in
pterosaurs is useful to know, but I suspect it is not a result of bipedal
Me too. I would expect the pes to be capable of reaching a transient and
momentary 'digitigrade' articulation during launch, but to remain in a
'plantigrade' articulation during landing. The former could be mistaken for
evidence of bipedality, but I don't personally know of any tracks that
demonstrate a launch. I would be willing to bet that there are some out