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RE: vaulting pterosaur launch, questions
Scott Hartman wrote:
> True enough, although those taxa have torso's that are dorsoventrally
> flattened, allowing the stomach (and the tail in Ptychozoon) to be
> utilized as airfoils, and ones that have substantially more surface
> area than the webing of the digits. In addition both Ptychozoon and
> flying frogs show adapations for aboreality. Niether of these applies
> to Archaeopteryx, and I think those are fairly key elements of that
> particular analogy.
Just to be clear: I wasn't advocating either flying geckos or treefrogs as
analogs for _Archaeopteryx_. I was just pointing out that distal gliding
surfaces (like the webbed feet of _Ptychozoon_ and _Rhacophorus_) are useful
gliding surfaces in their own right. Thus, there is no reason to assume that
the wings of _Archaeopteryx_ were unsuitable for gliding simply because of the
absence of tertials.
Note that I don't think _Archaeopteryx_ was arboreal either. But I don't
think it's necessary to equate gliding ability with an arboreal (or
"trees-down") origin of flight.
The i’m Talkathon starts 6/24/08. For now, give amongst yourselves.