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Re: Flightless pterosaur question:



Dave's probably right: I would expect the pectoral girdle, humerus and degree 
of bone expansion (pterosaur bones are much bigger than those of terrestrial 
animals) to reveal flightlessness in pterosaurs. These features are so 
developed and clearly geared for flight in all known pterosaurs and they must 
be quite costly to produce and maintain: they would almost certainly be the 
first thing to go in should any pterosaurs develop a flightless lifestyle. 
Coincidentally, Mike Habib and I have just submitted a paper that talks about 
this in more detail.

Mark

--

Dr. Mark Witton

Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road
Portsmouth
PO1 3QL

Tel: (44)2392 842418
E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk

>>> David Peters <davidpeters@att.net> 24/03/2010 17:05 >>>
Of course, but that's the easy answer. Some flightless birds do not have 
absurdly short wings. 

What's the threshold for flight/flightlessness?

Could it be found in the pectoral girdle, rather than the wings?

Witness the Kagu:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kagu 

"The wings are not reduced in size like some other flightless birds, but they 
lack the musculature for flight."

D


--- On Wed, 3/24/10, Saint Abyssal <saint_abyssal@yahoo.com> wrote:


> Absurdly short or gracile flight
> digits?
> 
> 
> > If flightless birds keep their wings,
> > how will we know (or what threshold will they cross)
> that
> > tells us a pterosaur just can't fly?
> > 
> > Any predictions?
> > 
> > David Peters
> > davidpeters@att.net 
> > 
> 
> 
>       
>