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Re: Science feather strength debate



On Mon, Nov 15, 2010 at 10:49 PM, Augusto Haro <augustoharo@gmail.com> wrote:
> 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.


Actually that's not completely correct.  Rhacophorus doesn't have a
terribly impressive glide ratio, and the flattened stomach region
supplies about as much area for lift as do the distal webbings; the
distal limb webbings function more in a capacity to maintain control
during the descent than as the main airfoil.

In as much as I suspect that Archaeopteryx used its wings for control
and not for gliding I don't think this is a terrible analogy, but
since Archaeopteryx lacks the flattened anuran thoracic cavity it
doesn't bode well for models of tree-gliding proto-birds.

-Scott


-- 
Scott Hartman
Scientific Advisor/Technical Illustrator
(307) 921-9750
www.skeletaldrawing.com