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RE: L'origine et l'évolution des oiseaux, with a twist

Brad McFeeters wrote:

> Longisquama and Sharovipteryx are "terrestrial > predators that were fleet-footed hunters" now?

Well, let's put it this way... they were not eating plants...right? 'Predators' are not just predators of vertebrates.

Tim Williams wrote:

Yes, how "terrestrial" and "fleet-footed" could _Sharovipteryx_ be with a long
membrane stretched across the length of its leg...? Give this a try David:
strap a pair of kites to your legs, and see how fast you can run.

As for your thought experiment, kites are made of stiff paper, crossed strips of wood and string. How is this analogous?

As for Sharovipteryx, the membrane trails the leg, extends something like a Japanese paper fan (were you thinking this and wrote that?), and thus it reduces drag (think of biplane wires vs. struts) while remaining fully collapsible. With an elongated ilium and a tibia longer than the femur, and tiny forelimbs, Sharoviptryx is a classic bipedal cursor/saltator.

As for _Longisquama_, it's not easy to gauge its cursorial abilities, because
the hindlimbs are not preserved.


David Peters wrote:

> Ironic on so many levels.

Sorry David; I guess it's too subtle for me.  How is it "ironic"?

See Padian's 2009 contribution to Zitteliana, then get back to me.



David Peters