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Fwd: Senter 2006, Confuciusornis, and humeral mobility



> Takeoff is perhaps a moot point. If, as you say, Confuciusornis was 33 
> percent underpowered even for steady flight then of course it could not have 
> taken off at all, since takeoff requires several times more power than steady 
> flight.
> 
> However, I found a  case that may be an exception your results about steady 
> flight requiring humeral elevation above the horizontal. According to 
> Pennycuick, in The Flight of Petrels and Albatrosses, 1982, page 82, the 
> species that he observed and that K. D. Scholey filmed had very limited wing 
> motion above the horizontal, with 25 degrees apparently being abnormally 
> high. I am continuing to research those flying vertebrates with the least 
> suprahorizontal wingbeat amplitude, and I will report back.
> 
> Even if the scapulae of Confuciusornis did overhang the glenoids slightly in 
> life, I would bet that a humeral elevation of 25 degrees was still easily 
> possible.
> 
> Do the equations that you are using to analyze Confuciusornis predict that 
> the smaller albatrosses and petrels can fly without raising their humeri 
> above horizontal?If not, then it is possible that your equations are not 
> adequate to describe the flight of real animals in this special case (those 
> with limited wingbeat amplitudes above horizontal).

Jason Brougham
Senior Principal Preparator
American Museum of Natural History
jaseb@amnh.org
(212) 496 3544