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Re: Quetzalcoatlus mass
I am in agreement with Greg Paul on this one. It is worth noting that
Greg P. , Jim Cunningham, and Mark Witton all derive roughly the same
body mass estimates for giant pterosaurs, using three different
methodologies (in all three cases, the methodology works on extant
species for confirmation).
At a quick glance, it seems that the slicing technique is basically
overestimating at large sizes - hence it seems to work for living
birds alright, and animals near that size range, but accumulates error
at large body sizes. The methods used by the three authors above, by
contrast, were verified on larger animals.
Incidentally, Quetz was probably a long-distance flyer, just not by
continuous flapping flight.
Sent from my iPhone
On May 21, 2010, at 4:10 PM, GSP1954@aol.com wrote:
I was the first to explain that Quetzalcoatlus was far more massive
the conventional wisdom. I was in charge of the restoration for Paul
McCready's robotic QN project and quickly realized that the skeletal
way to big to accomodate the human-like 70 kg mass thought necessary
achieve flight, and I published more realistic weights starting in
1987 in Nature.
As one who thinks superpterosaurs were real massive the new estimate
about a half tonne is a real stretch. The half size Q. sp are
sufficient to get
a reasonable volumetric estimate, and scaling up from that results
quarter tonne for Q. northropi assuming a normal avian specific
existence of what appear to be fully developed wings on the
indicate it was a true flier, albeit perhaps a short range burst
number of researchers including myself have shown that the span/mass
simialr to some gliders and there was plenty of muscle power to take