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Re: Pterosaur.net



On Jan 14, 2010, at 11:42 AM, David Peters wrote:

"The additional membranes (especially the front one) controlled by a special bone called the pteroid would have helped with steering." The pteroid was inboard and would not have been such a great steering aid.

Because depression of the pteroid (and hence the propatagium) changes entry angle of the inboard wing, the pteroid would be a very good "steering aid" - flying taxa turn by altering the fluid force production between the two wings, such that they differ, which forces a roll and therefore a turn. A little change in entry angle goes a long way, so the propatagial position is, in fact, a factor in maneuverability.

Cheers,

--Mike


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