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It's a bit of a strange paradox, actually: while most workers have preferred a quad stance for walking, every previous paper that has ever mentioned launch dynamics in pterosaurs has assumed a bipedal launch. That is, the general assumption was (for reasons I don't really understand) that the animals switched to biped running to take off. Bramwell made this assumption, as did Chatterjee, etc. The only explicit quad-launch models have been Jim's presentations (until my presentation in Munich and the current paper).

While you and I have disagreed about pterosaur stance, I definitely give you credit for being consistent (i.e. both walking and launching using the same gait). *Switching* to a less powerful gait to takeoff, by contrast, is rather odd.

Here is the full reference:

Habib M. 2008. Comparative evidence for quadrupedal launch in pterosaurs. Pp 161-168 in Buffetaut E, and DWE Hone, eds. Wellnhofer Pterosaur Meeting: Zitteliana B28



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

On Thursday, January 8, 2009, at 09:14  AM, David Peters wrote:

I'll look forward to reading the paper, but one thing stuck out in the description:

"Assumption and convention — rather than reason or data — held sway for centuries, ever since the classical bipedal model of pterosaur take-off was first championed, he notes."

Who, besides Padian (1983a, b) and myself, have championed the bipedal model? I thought everyone else considered quad the way to go.

David Peters