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Re: Science feather strength debate

On the other hand, the frog Rhacophorus glides without any well
developed membrane between their hands and body, but rely on their
interdigital membranes. As these can glide, I suppose and
Archaeopteryx without tertiaries but with apparently larger surfaces
on the antebrachium and hand and tail, may also had.

2010/11/16 Jason Brougham <jaseb@amnh.org>:
> If we accept for sake of argument that there were no tertials, and that
> their absence negatively impacts the gliding capabilities of Archeopteryx,
> then it seems all that is left is to quantify this impact.
> Is the loss in gliding efficiency enough to prevent gliding, or merely
> enough to make it less efficient? If Archaeopteryx had pretty low wing
> loading then maybe it could glide quite nicely without high efficiency.
> Lastly, perhaps Archaeopteryx's poor gliding potential is one line of
> evidence that it flapped well. Though they may be decisive for gliding,
> tertials are the least important feathers in flapping flight.