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Re: Pterosaur take-off visualization aid

Jim and I are in agreement here. Just as some background, the article in question is based essentially on the launch work that Jim and I have done; it was written specifically in response to my Zitteliana paper on quad launch that came out at the end of December. The writers interviewed me by phone for the article (not sure if they spoke to anyone else, as well), and also had me consult on the images. While several improvements could definitely be made to the final illustration, it is much, much better than the initial draft series. The illustrator had no working knowledge of animal takeoff or flight, and given that, learned and improved very impressively. While I could have continued to make suggestions and improvements upon the version that went into print, I felt it was more than good enough to provide the idea to the general public (and there was a deadline looming). Considering that both writer and artist were starting from scratch, I was pretty happy with the end product, all told.

All that said: the only individuals I know that have produced accurate launch sequence animations for pterosaurs are John Conway (whose animation is still quite rough) and Julia Molnar, a biological illustrator here at Hopkins. Julia's work is nearly complete, and the animation will be unveiled here next month. Either she or I will show it off at SVP in Bristol. It is a 3D launch animation of Anhanguera based on surface scans of AMNH 22555. It's a 100 million+ polygon render, so the detail is rather good.



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 habib@jhmi.edu

On Mar 20, 2009, at 10:28 AM, jrc wrote:

Either Mike Habib, John Conway, or I could comment, but basically we all agree that the hop, skip, and jump isn't necessary nor beneficial (though a lightly loaded animal could do it for the fun of it if he wished). The two main things I notice are that in the sketch series, the hindlimbs are not reoriented to flight position soon enough, so that in the sketches, the uropatagium isn't contributing to supporting the hindlimbs early in the launch. And secondly, the hindlimbs aren't shown as contributing to the phased power production in the launch cycle that would be required during launch of more heavily loaded pterosaurs. The sketch as shown, would make for a very inefficient but not impossible launch cycle.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Matthew Martyniuk" <martyniuk@gmail.com >
To: "DML" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Friday, March 20, 2009 8:18 AM
Subject: Re: Pterosaur take-off visualization aid

Speaking of visualizing a pterosaur launch, this diagram recently
appeared in Popular Science...

Jim can probably comment on its accuracy, but it looks in line with
what I've read. Aside from the weirdly bat-like wing of course ;)