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Re: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions

Apart from bringing one back to life somehow, exactly how do we "properly" establish that Archie flew? The fossil evidence is entirely consistent with an animal that was most likely at least a rudimentary flapping flyer.

Actually, it's a bit mixed in this regard.

Not very.

How did it fly? By flapping its wings.

Okay, very funny :) Seriously, though, there's a lot to this question of importance: it includes launch, power output, flapping kinematic, and landing dynamics.

Seriously though, these questions are equally as valid for all flapping flyers, not just Archie.

Why did it fly? Who the heck knows! You might as well ask why do we walk? Or why do fish swim?...

I think Scott meant "why" as in "under what stimulus" - as a mode of travel between elevated points, or as a predator escape, or something else entirely?

The correct question isn't "why" Archie flew, but under what conditions did flight became preferentially selected among pre-avian maniraptorans? Archie flew because it inherited the apparatus for flight from its ancestors. Why those ancestors developed that apparatus is an entirely different question.