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Re: Mesozoic birds made insects shrink

On Wed, Jun 6th, 2012 at 5:53 AM, Mike Keesey <keesey@gmail.com> wrote:

> Is there much data on how a torn wing affects bat flight? Seems they'd
> have the same problem.

I've seen flying foxes narrowly escape the clutches of raptors, while still 
managing to fly to safety 
with huge rents in their wing membranes. I suspect the dynamic many-jointed 
wings of bats can 
partially compensate for compromised membranes. Pterosaurs probably didn't have 
quite as 
adaptable a wing as bats do - although perhaps the reinforcing actinofibrils 
helped to prevent rents 
to begin with.

I've heard that small injuries to the flight membranes of bats will eventually 
heal and close up, 
although I've seen many flying foxes with membranes that have healed to form a 
hole in the wing. 
As long as the hole isn't too large, it doesn't seem to affect their flight 
capabilities in any 
appreciable way.


Dann Pigdon
Spatial Data Analyst               Australian Dinosaurs
Melbourne, Australia               http://home.alphalink.com.au/~dannj