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Re: Flightless pterosaur indicators
I doubt they evolved as sexual displays, as fashionable as those types of
suggestions are nowadays. It's just too easy and plausible to picture a flying
squirrel-type membrane stretched from digit IV to the leg as the precursor to
the pterosaur wing.
That's what Augusto Haro argued earlier in the thread. I think he's on the
right track. Birds can afford to lose the musculature while becoming
flightless- the organs the muscles power are no longer used for locomotion.
Pterosaurs, as quadrupeds, would still need ample musculature up front to move
about. My vote for chief flightless pterosaur indicator would be greatly
It is easy to picture a flying squirrel-type membrane. Nearly everyone who has
looked at this problem has started with this very proposition. Unfortunately,
it turns out there's no support for it whatsoever. All such reports have been
pure imagination-- and I'm not being insulting here -- by the author's own
words and the term "hypothetical" sprinkled throughout their works. The
opposite, however, has been reported in the fossil record. Distal origin of the
Sorry I missed Augusto's note. If I'm not copied, I get all posts in the
Archive, a day later or later than that, and I, unfortunately, don't read all
of them. So to that point, would the shoulders of flightless pterosaurs need to
be as robust as the shoulders of flighted ones? I wouldn't think so.