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As I alluded to a few months ago, it was the Tuesday NOVA program that, after
I helping initiate the concept, I was excluded from the script because the
incompetent let's-dumb down-the-show-for-they-are-idiots audience producer
not figure out how to explain the anatomical details of my hypothesis that
many nonflying dromaeosaurs are secondarily flightless.
I am so ticked off that I did not watch the program - prefer to keep my telly
intact - but I did look at the website to see how many eye rolls it is worth.
Turns out plenty.
People are doing double back flips to explain away how the rear airfoil,
whose area at least matched and may have exceeded that of the arm wings, was
used in a fairly conventional manner with wild and convoluted postures and
poses. What we do know is that the long, distal, foot-borne feathers were
asymmetrical flight feathers similar to those of outer arm primary feathers.
This means that when used as airfoils the leading edge was always used as just
that, the leading edge in the airstream. Yet in their wind tunnel tests they
concluded that the bizarre arrangement with the legs paralleling the tail was
the most effective, even though the foot borne primaries are oriented so that
the trailing edge is acting as the leading edge! Gosh, one would think that if
the legs were being used in such an adsurd manner, at least the development
of the feathers would have been selected for them to be at least oriented in
the proper aerodynamic manner. Duh.
Had I been involved in the wind tunnel test I would stressed the scientific
inanity of orienting the leg feathers in positions that are serodynamically
impossible. No doubt I would have been over ruled as obstructing a good story.
Not that it's just NOVA of course. I was just watching a History Channel show
on the universe that showed boulder sized meteorites hitting teh floor and
cliffs of Monument Valley leaving glowing contrails, when any meteorite the
of a house or smaller is slowed down too much by dense low altitude air to
leave a glowing air wake (in fact they are air-cooled at that point). Nor is it
just the documentary people who are brain dead. As per the recent silliness
that sand sized objects could be driven deep into animal flesh and bone well
outside the otherwise nolethal blast and heat zone of a large meteorite
explosion. The inanity never ends.
GSPaul<BR><BR><BR>**************<BR>Ideas to please picky eaters. Watch video
on AOL Living.<BR>