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RE: The Aerodynamic Origin of Bird Flight
Jim Cunningham wrote:
> Interestingly enough, though pterosaurs are almost certainly endothermic,
> for the most part they use a flight style that would for the most part, work
> just as well if they were cold-blooded. With this exception, which I think
> is important. Cold-bloodedness would have hurt their ability to reach high
> altitudes assist in traveling long distances;the atmosphere cools
> substantially with altitude increase, limiting a cold-blooded animal's
> ability to function at higher altitudes.
Agreed. I would also have said (and I'm arguing this solely from an intuitive
perspective here, so take it with a grain of salt) that the aerobic expenditure
required for flapping would favor endothermy over ectothermy. Especially
during the incipients stages of flight, and especially if flight evolved
'ground-up' (or had a 'ground-up' component').
(As a postscript, this thread was started by someone ["ProtoArt"/"Arthur
Havert"] who turns out to be a thoroughly unpleasant individual, with a very
strange contempt for biology and paleontology. He's now relegated to my Spam
(from another thread...)
> Actually, we've been discussing this rather than arguing it. I don't think
> either of us consider a single scenario to be proven.
Ah yes; didn't mean to imply otherwise. I guess I was implying that you were
both arguing in favor of a certain point vis-a-vis the problem of
reconstructing the early stages of pterosaur flight, rather than arguing
*against* each other.
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