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Re: New bird /pterosaur flight paper in PLoS ONE

Quoting "Simon M. Clabby" <dinowight@yahoo.co.uk>:

> Can I just play devil's advocate for a minute, and probably show how far 
> behind with the
> literature I am?
> Let's say large Azhdarchids are too big to fly. Is it possible that when 
> younger they can fly
> about, doing aerobatics and so on, but after their mating years are over, 
> they keep growing, and
> flight becomes more difficult, until one day they are grounded permanently? 
> From this point, then
> enter a terrestrial phase, scavenging from smaller predators kills, before 
> either starving or
> falling prey to a large predator.

Substitute the word 'Azhdarchids' with 'dromaeosaurs' and you might be on to 
something. :)

However I suspect that pterosaurs were far too flight-specialised to have been 
able to survive 
permanently on the ground for any length of time (ie. several years) - unless 
there were some 
major changes to body form and terrestrial mobility in their later years (such 
as loss of all flight 
membranes). Such dramatic physical changes tend to occur more frequently in the 
very young 
than the very old, at least as a general rule.


Dann Pigdon
GIS / Archaeologist              http://dannsdinosaurs.dyn-o-saur.com
Melbourne, Australia             http://heretichides.soffiles.com