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Re: Flightless pterosaur question:



Worth noting here that while some flightless birds are anecdotally mentioned to lack hyper-reduced wings, based on observation and/or measurement of length, the bone strength of secondarily flightless taxa appears to be universally low, even in species that have partial wing function remaining and/or represent a very recent loss of flight from a temporal perspective.

And, as Mark said, he and I have just finished writing and submitting a manuscript that addresses this very issue (among others). We'll see how it goes.

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



On Mar 24, 2010, at 1:26 PM, Saint Abyssal wrote:



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

From: Saint Abyssal <saint_abyssal@yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: Flightless pterosaur question:
To: "David Peters" <davidpeters@att.net>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 5:25 PM
Yes, atrophied pectoral musculature
is hypothetically possible as a means to lose flight
capability in flightless pterosaurs (assuming they exist)
but considering how many examples of birds with reduced
wings exist (penguins, dodos, ostriches, emus, cassowaries,
etc.)compared to adequate-but-under-powered ones (your
kagus) I think that flightlessness-by-muscle-loss is
probably less likely in pterosaurs, too.


We'll just have to wait for the fossils to find out! :D

~Abyssal


--- On Wed, 3/24/10, David Peters <davidpeters@att.net>
wrote:

From: David Peters <davidpeters@att.net>
Subject: Re: Flightless pterosaur question:
To: "Saint Abyssal" <saint_abyssal@yahoo.com>
Cc: "dinosaur mailing list" <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Wednesday, March 24, 2010, 5:05 PM
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