Giant pterosaurs could fly 10,000 miles non-stop to other continents
Posted by keelynet on October 21, 2010
“The huge flying creatures, some of which had a wingspan of more than 30 feet, used updrafts of warm air and wind currents to fly over long distances, according to new research.
Michael Habib, a paleontologist at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, US, said: ‘They probably only flapped for a few minutes at a time … and then their muscles had to recover. In between, they’re going to use unpowered flight and glide.
The effort required to get airborne would use large amounts of energy meaning that each pterosaur would burn around 72 kilogrammes of fat reserves on each trip.
The biggest type of pterosaur weight around 400 pounds and is the biggest animal to have ever flown. They were successful residents of the Earth for 150 million years. The new research raises the startling possibility that pterosaurs could have criss-crossed the globe and visited different continents.
The research team modeled the pterosaurs based on what is now known about their body mass, fat and wing shapes. Habib’s team say that the large pterosaurs may have launched themselves into the air using all four limbs.
The thicker, more humid atmosphere on Earth during the Cretaceous period when the pterosaurs were alive may also have made it easier to fly, the researchers say. Habib also told National Geographic that ‘unsteady dynamics’ – the means by which birds move in the air – would also have allowed pterosaurs to become airborne despite their vast weight.” – Full Article SourceAdvertisements
Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.