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Re: Senter 2006, Confuciusornis, and humeral mobility



It's an interesting idea, but generally speaking, the half-stroke ventral 
clapping kinematic you're suggesting would not produce appropriate aerodynamic 
forces.  Without getting into at length, the upshot is that the animal will 
produce about as much force counter to the direction it needs as it will useful 
aerodynamic force (i.e. it will go down and back about as much as it goes up 
and forward).  It is an interesting thought, though - it gave me pause for a 
moment.

Cheers,

--Mike H.


On Mar 22, 2011, at 10:39 PM, Jason Brougham wrote:

> On the subject of humeral mobility and powered flight, is it possible that
> the first stages of flapping could involve flapping the wings downwards
> only?
> 
> In other words, on the lineage leading from a glider to a powered flier,
> could the early stages involve gaining lift and extending glides by
> flapping the arms from horizontal ventrally down to meet at the midline?
> 
> Then, in later stages of refinement, the recovery stroke could be added by
> more complex shoulder modifications?
> 

Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Biology
Chatham University
Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA  15232
Buhl Hall, Room 226A
mhabib@chatham.edu
(443) 280-0181