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Re: Science feather strength debate

 I'm still very curious about how reliable the local weather was for
 slope soaring. All I've heard is that archy was from an area that
 used to be islands.

...while *Confuciusornis* was from a forest with lakes in it. No evidence of slopes in the vicinity, and the sea wasn't closer than today.

 Did archie have a wingloading under 1 pound per square foot?

Would surprise me. The wings are broad, but the Thermopolis specimen apparently shows that there were no tertiaries -- there was a gap between the wing and the body.

 Was its aspect ratio over 6:1?

Never. Even if we don't mind the gap.

*Confuciusornis* has very long, narrow wings, though, and those of *Sapeornis* were very long, too (the feathers aren't preserved, so we don't know how broad the wings were).

 I could imagine things becoming quite capable flyers, before becomi
 rt a ridge soaring glider species.

Snippage in the original.