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Textbook Images of Ancient Flying Reptiles


Still Waters

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With 23-foot wingspans and hefty bodies, the largest of the ancient airborne reptiles of the era of the dinosaurs might seem the unlikeliest of flying machines. In fact, as commonly depicted, the largest of these animals, called pterosaurs, would have been unable to sustain flight, according to new research.

For the first time since pterosaurs were discovered more than 100 years ago, the basic physics of how the largest of them flew are becoming understood. The new research suggests that estimates of giant pterosaur wing size and shape have been wrong, and that, mechanically, the wings would have had to be crescent-shaped and angled much farther forward on the body than has been thought.

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Quote from the text:

"By analyzing the pterosaur's center of mass (where gravity is pulling down the hardest)..."

Goes to show how much of an expert this guy is. Why would gravity pull down harder in some places than others? Anyway, I couldn't quite grasp the implications. So what's his theory? That they developed the wings throughout millions of years just to carry on walking on the ground, dragging their wings behind them? Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it's not so. Remember when they heard rumours of an animal with a body of a beaver-like mammal with a duck's beak on its head? They wanted evidence (obviously), and when they had the body of the poor platypus right in front of them they still said "it's impossible" and "it's a fake". Sounds a bit like today's UFO skeptics after so many disclosure projects and UFO press conferences. This sure is a funny planet, I mean, humanity's sure a funny race.

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I agree with you R0lCI,this nutcase has no clue on aeronautics. And let me say that a crescent wing shape is not a good shape for a large wing. It is a high speed shape as with a swift, and needs a lot a power to weight ratio.The pterosaur evolved it wing to catch live prey.It probably had to take off into wind or leap from a high ledge.

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Quote from the text:

"By analyzing the pterosaur's center of mass (where gravity is pulling down the hardest)..."

Goes to show how much of an expert this guy is. Why would gravity pull down harder in some places than others? Anyway, I couldn't quite grasp the implications. So what's his theory? That they developed the wings throughout millions of years just to carry on walking on the ground, dragging their wings behind them? Just because you don't understand something doesn't mean it's not so. Remember when they heard rumours of an animal with a body of a beaver-like mammal with a duck's beak on its head? They wanted evidence (obviously), and when they had the body of the poor platypus right in front of them they still said "it's impossible" and "it's a fake". Sounds a bit like today's UFO skeptics after so many disclosure projects and UFO press conferences. This sure is a funny planet, I mean, humanity's sure a funny race.

As soon as they have a real 'flying saucer in their hands', things might change...

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I agree with you R0lCI,this nutcase has no clue on aeronautics. And let me say that a crescent wing shape is not a good shape for a large wing. It is a high speed shape as with a swift, and needs a lot a power to weight ratio.The pterosaurs evolved it wing to catch live prey.It probably had to take off into wind or leap from a high ledge.

I also think that these creatures lived on high ledges and mountain top and never or very seldom walked on the lower surfaces of the Earth for reasons of their massive size and wing span. And I also believe that they hardly flapped those huge wings but mostly used them to glide through the air swooping down on their prey to bring them off to the mountain tops to feed. This is by far more feasible to explain their existence and survival in those days of old.

Edited by Oakum
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If this same guy had only bones to go by he would say that hummingbirds could not fly either. Obviously the creature could fly or it would never have survived. It would have been fairly easy prey for even small predators of the time.

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The whole theory this guy has depends on his assumption of the wing membranes flapping around unless they were close to the arm/fingers. That is not a stupid assumption, but it is rather naive. We don't know if the memebranes were muscular or just skin, or both. If the wing membrane was muscular, then it would have held its shape while in flight and not flapped around. If that is true then the wings could be bigger, the center of lift could be further back and be more in line with the center of gravity, and thus, the animal is no longer unable to fly.

I don't think his theory holds up under scrutiny. And as others said, the critter existed, and thus it had to have worked.

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A illustration of the new aerodynamic theory would have help explain the new flight of the giant pterosaurs more clearly : :huh:

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There's only one explanation...

history-channel-hd-aliens-thumb.jpg

You, Sir, are a jerk.

I REALLY like my diet cola beverage. Because of you and your picture, I spewed a large mouthful out - THROUGH MY NOSE!!!

It hurt, and you should feel shame. Please don't do that again... or I will be forced to do something unpleasant to a small, cute, woodland creature, and I am sure that neither of us wants that to happen.

Or do you?

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You, Sir, are a jerk.

I REALLY like my diet cola beverage. Because of you and your picture, I spewed a large mouthful out - THROUGH MY NOSE!!!

It hurt, and you should feel shame. Please don't do that again... or I will be forced to do something unpleasant to a small, cute, woodland creature, and I am sure that neither of us wants that to happen.

Or do you?

I'm sorry. Truly I am.... Or am I

Edited by BiffWellington
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There's only one explanation...

history-channel-hd-aliens-thumb.jpg

I thought Babylon 5 was canceled. What is this guy doing, going to a B5 convention as a Centari?

B5_vir.jpg

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I thought Babylon 5 was canceled. What is this guy doing, going to a B5 convention as a Centari?

B5_vir.jpg

AH! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! HA!

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What I got from it, is that the center of balance for pterosaurs is different that commonly depicted, and would have resulted in a different style of flight.

They're commonly depicted as flying and soaring like birds, but like many depictions of dinosaurs, that may become anachronistic.

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How exactly does a posi track rear end on a plymouth work...It just does.

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