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Re: Microraptor -- "Biplane" or Not?
Rescued from truncation:
Has any consensus been reached on how Microraptor deployed its hind
wings= ? I know that it's=20 pretty much been established that the
hind limbs were held beneath the body= during flight=2C but =20 has
agreement been reached on whether the wing was held vertically or
horiz= ontally? I'm working on=20 some drawings for a teacher friend
of mine to show in class.
I don't think there's consensus on how far, if at all, *M.* was able to
spread its legs.
It's possible that the legs were more or less tucked in in flight, like
in a flying short-legged bird, with the foot feathers pointing sideways
and (both feet together) forming a short extra wing (which was, of
course, not flapped), sort of like the extra wing between the wheels of
some double- and triple-deckers. The feathers on the rest of the legs
would have had to point backwards.
There doesn't seem to be a way to find out which way the feathers on the
feet pointed, let alone if they were mobile. The fossils are all
squished flat, and things like tendons aren't preserved.