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Constraints on the wing morphology of pterosaurs 2012

I apologise if this has been shared before but it's my first time coming 
accross this paper

Colin Palmer and Gareth Dyke
Constraints on the wing morphology of pterosaurs
Proc. R. Soc. B 2012 279, 1218-1224 



Animals that fly must be able to do so over a huge range of aerodynamic 
conditions, determined by
weather, wind speed and the nature of their environment. No single parameter 
can be used to
determine—let alone measure—optimum flight performance as it relates to wing 
shape. Reconstructing
the wings of the extinct pterosaurs has therefore proved especially 
problematic: these Mesozoic flying reptiles
had a soft-tissue membranous flight surface that is rarely preserved in the 
fossil record. Here, we
review basic mechanical and aerodynamic constraints that influenced the wing 
shape of pterosaurs,
and, building on this, present a series of theoretical modelling results. These 
results allow us to predict
the most likely wing shapes that could have been employed by these ancient 
reptiles, and further show
that a combination of anterior sweep and a reflexed proximal wing section 
provides an aerodynamically
balanced and efficient theoretical pterosaur wing shape, with clear benefits 
for their flight stability.


Michael O'Sullivan

Palaeobiology Research Group
Postgraduate Student
School of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road