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Re: Pterosaur in water

David Peters wrote:

Wings folded and hollow they would float like pontoons with the pterosaur between them also unable to sink IMHO.

Note that pelicans can sink, and they are more heavily pneumatized than most pterosaurs, at least as pneumatic as most large pterodactyloids (probably more so - pelicans have pneumatized femora and rostra, for example. Rostral pneumaticity is presumably part of the sinus system). The specific density may not be as low as we might guess at first glance. At the same time, many diving birds do expend a lot of their diving energy budget fighting buoyancy, so it's not necessarily *easy* to sink a heavily pneumatized flying animal (though, in birds, much of that buoyancy comes from air trapped under feathers).


Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
(443) 280-0181