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Huge pterodactyl was too large to fly

Posted on Sunday, 11 November, 2012 | Comment icon 27 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: Mark Witton, Darren Naish

 
Quetzalcoatlus might have had wings but it was so large that it wouldn't have been able to take off.

The enormous reptile would have only been able to take to the skies from a steep hill or other platform from which it could jump and then soar through the air like a hang glider. Its wings were simply too big and its muscles too weak for it take flight by flapping them while on the ground. At 70kg the species would have been at the absolute upper limit of what flesh and bone can support in flight.

"There's no way this animal could take off from the ground," said paleontologist Sankar Chatterjee. "There is no way it could fly."

"A new analysis of the largest of pterodactyls suggests they were too big and their muscles too weak to vault into the air and fly."

  View: Full article

 Source: MSNBC


  Discuss: View comments (27)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Andami on 14 November, 2012, 6:49
The new analysis was done on the enormous pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus from Late Cretaceous rocks of Big Bend, Texas. New? This is an old hypothesis. It was even discussed in an Animal Planet dinosaur documentary 5-10 years ago.
Comment icon #19 Posted by MidKn13ght on 16 November, 2012, 0:48
They WERE able to fly because the earth was flat back then.......
Comment icon #20 Posted by wolfknight on 19 November, 2012, 18:45
Well according to phyics a F4 Phamtom shouldn't have been able to fly. So the big pterodactly did what hand gliders do today. Run off and clif and hope to get a up draft
Comment icon #21 Posted by SameerPrehistorica on 24 November, 2012, 14:40
Sure some pterosaurs would have flied..They are the flying animals to travel around the world and also being powerful
Comment icon #22 Posted by joc on 24 November, 2012, 15:04
I believe they flew...from the ground...like vultures...slow take off...and then catch the air currents...I also believe they 'passed gas' through their mouths and nostrils...this would explain why, from time to time, they would be seen breathing out fire...as primitive man used the weapon of fire against them at close range, the breath and escaping methane from the mouth of the beast would ignite the torch bearer. I also believe they were drawn to shiny objects and horded them in caves.
Comment icon #23 Posted by NikkiAidyn on 24 November, 2012, 16:33
I've seen drawings of these things, and I wouldn't want to be near it. Incredible creatures, though. Sometimes I wonder if there really is a god, because he must have an amazing sense of humor.
Comment icon #24 Posted by bulveye on 26 November, 2012, 14:50
Ok, The thing looks ridiculous, utterly improbable. BUT they do have fossils so it must have existed. Maybe if it didn't fly it might have used it wings to spread out and catch the sun. It could warm up quicker then the competition and start eating earlier and so spend more of the day having sex and spreading it genes. So over time the one with the bigger wings went on to pass the big wing gene on. The wings would then maybe eventually become a status symbol. That is why the wings never became residual like on a dodo.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Wickian on 26 November, 2012, 20:25
Don't dolphins cheat somehow in water to get extra thrust in ways we can't explain? Kind of hard to say it's too big to fly when all we have is rock-bones to make this claim on.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Lava_Lady on 5 December, 2012, 6:56
Whoa!!!! Lol... A sighting would be Amazing!!!! And scary!!!! Thank you!!!
Comment icon #27 Posted by Simbi Laveau on 5 December, 2012, 16:59
Planes shouldn't fly either,but they do . I'm thinking it depends upon their diet somehow . Why would they need to fly ? If they didn't ,and only ate land bound things,well maybe . No way to know. They've miscategorized many dinosaurs before .


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