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Re: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions



And that's exactly what we see in pterosaurs and in birds. Not in
bats so far, though. Should I take this as evidence that flight started ground-up in pterosaurs and birds but trees-down in bats, so that the bats evolved control during their hypothetical gliding phase before they started flapping? :-) <<<

At least primtive pterosaurs appear to be more specialized for arborreal life than derived pterosaurs (the opposite of birds). That raises the issue of how complex the stages that pterosaurs went through prior to flight may have been. Now if we could just get some more fossils!


Scott Hartman Science Director Wyoming Dinosaur Center 110 Carter Ranch Rd. Thermopolis, WY 82443 (800) 455-3466 ext. 230 Cell: (307) 921-8333

www.skeletaldrawing.com


-----Original Message----- From: David Marjanovic <david.marjanovic@gmx.at> To: DML <dinosaur@usc.edu> Sent: Mon, 16 Jun 2008 3:47 pm Subject: Re: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions


----- Original Message -----Â From: "jrc" <jrccea@bellsouth.net>Â Sent: Monday, June 16, 2008 9:55 PMÂ Â
However, as with the Wright brothers, you can't very well have
powered >>flight until you can have controlled flight.Â
Â
Actually, you can, but it leads to a lot of kersplats. What it would
more > likely lead to, is very stable flight modes in the earlier forms of flying > vertebrates. Long tails, etc.Â
Â
And that's exactly what we see in pterosaurs and in birds. Not in bats so far, though. Should I take this as evidence that flight started ground-up in pterosaurs and birds but trees-down in bats, so that the bats evolved control during their hypothetical gliding phase before they started flapping? :-)Â
Â
Personally, I think flight origins were probably neither trees downÂ
nor ground up, but rather a mixture of makingÂ
use of all energy sources available.Â
Â
This requires, of course, that the animals in question were fairly good at climbing. For theropods that's not so clear. *Archaeopteryx* in particular has very terrestrial feet. Â