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Re: Quick question for pterosaur aficionados:
Some of both. Any joints that can be flexed will help fold the wing.
Most of this will occur at MCIV-PhIV (outboard), but the elbow can
flex, as can the wrist. For actual folding, the wing finger is most
important, but it should be noted that span reduction during flight
was likely accomplished more at the elbow and wrist. The initial span
reduction produces extra cambering, and so (counter-intuitively)
increases the lift on the span-reduced wing. Additional span
reduction reduces lift as area shrinks, and then reduces it a great
deal if the wing begins to flutter (this last issue prevented
pterosaurs from utilizing the same degree of span reduction in flight
as birds use).
Assistant Professor of Biology
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA 15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
On Mar 23, 2010, at 9:33 PM, David Peters wrote:
Inboard or outboard of the elbow?
You can probably guess what I would say, but I'll weigh in after
others have spoken.