Sunday, August 29, 2010

Big news at Flickr

Dead quick post this one. In fact, it's simply instruction to point your browser here. There's not only some interesting pterosaury information on offer, but also a big announcement. Well, big for me, anyway.

The adjacent Pteranodon image, by the way, has nothing to do with anything mentioned here or there: he's just jazzing up the post a bit.


  1. The logic of this launching method would work well for the dynamics of large pterosaurs like pteranodon and the larger azhdarchids. I am not convinced that this is the case for all pterosaurs. Some ornithosaurids and smaller species had proportionally better deveoped femurs. I suspect that pterosaur lauching techniques were very diverse and different launch methods would work in different situations. For the larger pterosaurs, this idea of launching resolves a lot of problems.

  2. While the forces at work for smaller pterosaurs will be considerably reduced because of their much lower masses, the arguments outlined over at Flickr apply to the smaller critters just as much as the bigguns. Consider the relationship of gait to launch method and the fact that smaller pterosaur limbs scale in the same way as their bigger brethren: it's not as obvious, but it still applies. I'm not quite sure which taxa you're referring to with 'ornithosaurids': do you mean ornithocheirids? If so, their hindlimbs (in fact, everything behind the shoulders, really) were pretty dinky (see this image of Zhenyuanopterus for an example): I would argue that these guys were among the most likely quad launchers of the lot.

    That said, I do agree with you that there was scope for different launch methods, though I think it's more related to the specific location of the pterosaur more than anything else. Climbing pterosaurs, for instance, may have been very happy to simply leap into the air from their perches, whilst water launchers, Mike Habib recently told us, have their own take on the quad launch to become airborne.