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pterosaur take-off analog
Last night Animal Planet - Wild Pacific - Eat or Be Eaten, fledgling
albatrosses were shown getting hungry on their small beach environs,
parents absent. Most were spreading their wings in the elevated
configuration. Some ventured into shallow waters to float while doing
the same thing. There they became shark bait, but that's not the point
here. The wind, as it picked up, gently carried them aloft, out of
harm's way and off on their first trans-oceanic voyages. Sure there
were some running take-offs, but heading into the wind made everything
much easier. They were light on their feet and flapping was not really
much of an issue.
Pterosaur wings were like those of sailplanes (when properly
reconstructed). Maybe calculations involving take-offs should be
modified to reflect different wind conditions. The above scenario
seemed especially appropriate for certain derived ornithocheirids,
which, by all indications, had the smallest pelves and feet of all.
Certainly smaller pteros were big on flapping and there would have
been a spectrum of abilities in between the smallest and largest.