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Re: Pterosaur in water Re: Fw: Water-bourne pterosaur launch

Like Mike, I think it highly likely that some, perhaps many, pterosaurs were not swimmers by choice. Like him, I also think that they could get back off once they got on the water. Likely candidates for water takeoff would include wading pterosaurs that were too deep into the water to do a terrestrial takeoff (too much water resistance on their extremities to allow them to push off from the bottom). They could launch anyway, by using the water launch technique instead of the terrestrial.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Mike Habib" <habib@jhmi.edu>
To: <dannj@alphalink.com.au>
Cc: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Wednesday, October 07, 2009 5:11 PM
Subject: Re: Pterosaur in water Re: Fw: Water-bourne pterosaur launch

There is indeed a possibility that many pterosaurs, even pelagic ones, could barely swim. However, their anatomy suggests that they could, unlike a Frigate Bird, take off from the water if they were unlucky enough to end up in it for any number of stochastic reasons. Frigate birds have very unusual limb morphology among birds; this would appear to be why they cannot launch from water.

--Mike Habib