9 January 2009

How did giant flying reptiles take off?

When the pterosaurs’ strong wings were folded they created “knuckles” that the animals rested on in four-legged stance which allowed them to take off in a motion akin to leap-frogging. The back legs kicked off first and then the front legs gave a mighty push to propel them into the air. This procedure would negate the need for launching aids that other paleontologists have suggested, like strong winds, a downslope, or a cliff to jump from.
-- or so says Mike Habib

Image: Mark Witton.

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