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Re: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions

Sorry to switch focus from pterosaurs to birds, but how do you
_Archaeopteryx_ getting itself airborne from terra firma? By leaping from a
standstill off the ground? <<<

That presumes, of course, that Archaeopteryx got airborne for any significant period of time at all. It continues to amaze me how we can have discussions using Archaeopteryx as the pivot point for "origin of flight" discussions when it hasn't been properly established that Archaeopteryx flew, or if so, how, when, where, and why?

Good point. The correct phrasing would be that *if* Archaeopteryx got itself airborne, then I suspect it was by a leaping launch. More generally, I suspect that leaping launch is the basal state for birds, even if Archaeopteryx itself did not happen to be volant. It would depend, just for example, on whether or not it had a complete foil. I hear rumors that the whacky little guy may have lacked a complete inboard wing...



Michael Habib, M.S. PhD. Candidate Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1830 E. Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 (443) 280 0181 habib@jhmi.edu