HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?

In order to envisage the behaviors and lifestyles of now extinct animals, palaeontology often relies on extrapolating from modern species. Scientists identify shared anatomical features and infer from these shared ways of life. This method is often used to predict the diet of an extinct species based on comparisons of fossilized teeth, or used to conclude that species with large eyes were nocturnal. However, a new paper from Stuart Humphries, Richard Bonser, and colleagues, published in the open access journal PLoS Biology, provides a cautionary tale. Previous work on pterosaurs concluded that some species fed by skimming along the surface of the water with their mouths held open, but this paper overturns that inference, showing that this kind of feeding was highly unlikely to have occurred in pterosaurs after all.

Humphries, and colleagues from the Universities of Portsmouth, Reading, and Sheffield in the UK, investigated the feeding mechanisms of the pterosaurs using a variety of neat experimental and aerodynamic modelling techniques. They compared the forces acting on the modern skim-feeding bird, genus Rynchops, with those likely to occur on a pterosaur. Big was beautiful for the pterosaur, with evolutionary trends towards giant sizes. However, Humphries et al. show that the size of these colossal animals would have prevented them from feeding as previously described, as the drag experienced by a pterosaur over a ton would have imposed too great an energetic cost. The authors also reveal that the smaller, lighter pterosaurs that may have been able to overcome this drag barrier make equally unlikely skim feeders, as they lack the many adaptations of the neck and skull shown in modern skimming birds. The paper overturns the untested assum ption that drag is an unimportant cost of flight, offering, in turn, an explanation for the relative rarity of the skim-feeding strategy; found only in three modern birds, all of the same genus, Rhynchops.

'"/>

Contact: Natalie Bouaravong
press@plos.org
415-568-3445
Public Library of Science
23-Jul-2007


Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Neurons grown from embryonic stem cells restore function in paralyzed rats
2. Neurons find their place in the developing nervous system with the help of a sticky molecule
3. New slant on vision research: Neurons sensitive to viewing angle
4. UCLA scientists produce functioning neurons from human embryonic stem cells
5. Stem cell therapy rescues motor neurons in ALS model
6. Nicotine rush hinges on sugar in neurons
7. Turn-ons and turn-offs for neurons
8. Immune antibodies penetrate neurons to clear Alzheimers-linked amyloid
9. Parkinsons protein protects neurons from stress induced cell death
10. Newborn neurons like to hang with the in crowd
11. Role of noise in neurons

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:7/31/2020)... ... 30, 2020 , ... Justin Zamirowski to lead upcoming launches ... focus on Type 2 diabetes and associated comorbidities. , Justin brings over 20 ... classes. As Chief Commercial Officer, Justin will lead Better Therapeutics’ efforts ...
(Date:7/18/2020)... ANTONIO (PRWEB) , ... July 16, 2020 , ... ... ONE that demonstrates the effectiveness of the Invictus Medical Neoasis™ active noise control ... environment. The study reported that the Neoasis™ device attenuated the alarm sounds from ...
(Date:7/10/2020)... ... July 08, 2020 , ... Overcoming ... Therapy Regulation, An FDAnews Webinar, Wednesday, July 22, 2020 • 1:30 p.m.-3:00 p.m. ... what is the most effective way to complete one? Will the study comply ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/28/2020)... ... June 25, 2020 , ... The Indoor Lab, a leading provider of ... businesses of all types to ensure cleanliness, distancing and occupancy with its patent pending ... Space™ enabled business will provide a health performance index system that scores all aspects ...
(Date:6/28/2020)... SILVER SPRING, Md. (PRWEB) , ... June 26, ... ... the leading trade association representing security solutions providers, today announced its strong opposition ... . , The bill would impose a blanket ban on most federal use ...
(Date:6/23/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... June 22, 2020 , ... ... now offering an Amniosomes special offer. This includes buy three, get the fourth ... call (888) 568-6909. , Amniotic derived exosomes, known as exosomes, have been a ...
(Date:6/19/2020)... ... June 18, 2020 , ... The Vitaspace project was founded by ... to radically prolong life and find a way (medicine or technology) that will help ... supported by various scientists from all over the world, doctors, and all people who ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: