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Re: surface/volume ratio and water loss in smallest amniotes

Would the lack of smaller birds/bats/pterosaurs be more of a flight problem (too small for windy conditions or incoming rain drops)?

Flight at smaller sizes is quite feasible - as Jocelyn pointed out, insects fly fine at smaller sizes. The dynamics of said flight do begin to shift as the size gets very small, and therefore the Re regime shifts, but it does not forbid small size flyers. However, vertebrate physiology and muscular anatomy may set lower limits on flapping flight effectiveness.



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