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re: Flightless pterosaur indicators
Seems to me three indicators might have to include:
1. Lack of predators in the environment
2. Any change in morphology that prevents flight including:
a) reduction of wing length,
b) reduction of the pectoral girdle (and its anchoring muscles),
c) morphological changes that move the center of aerodynamic balance away from
the wing root.
3. Death of the pterosaur ;-) (had to throw that one in)
If pterosaur wings originally developed as secondary sexual characteristics
(after all they can be folded and deployed), then perhaps they were retained in
flightless forms (analogous to the Kagu), for the same usage. So, if we're
going to find flightless pterosaurs, I think our best bet is to look for the
ones with smaller shoulders. What the threshold dimensions might be I leave to
the engineers and mathematicians. If anyone wants to figure those equations
out, please contact me off list and we'll have a project.
Or do pterosaurs also need large shoulders to walk around quadrupedally?