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:
TAG: Did pterosaurs feed skimming

(Date:8/4/2015)... ) today reported financial and operating results for the second quarter ... quarter contract revenue of $ 85.2 million, a ... of 26 % , Second quarter adjusted ... royalties in the current quarter , Operating cash ... to present another strong financial quarter, with all our divisions achieving ...
(Date:7/31/2015)... -- Den 10. internationale konference om Genomik (ICG-10, ... 25. oktober i Shenzhen , Kina. ... år. Siden starten i 2006 er ICB blevet en ... er en af de mest dynamiske, entusiastiske og sjove ... gennembrud og fremskridt inden for ,omik,-forskning, som yderligere vil ...
(Date:7/31/2015)... SHENZHEN, China , 31 de julho de 2015 ... Genômica (ICG-10, www.icg-10.org ) será realizada pela BGI de ... China . A conferência está ... inauguração em 2006, a ICG se tornou uma das ... e um dos encontros científicos mais dinâmicos, entusiastas e ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 2AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 3AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 4AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 5AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 6AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 7AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 8AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 9AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 10AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 11AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 12AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 13AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 14AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 15AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 16AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 17AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 18AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 19AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 20AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 21AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 22AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 23AMRI Announces Second Quarter 2015 Results 24Den 10. internationale konference om Genomics (ICG-10) åbner i oktober 2A 10a. Conferência Internacional sobre Genômica (ICG-10) será em outubro 2A 10a. Conferência Internacional sobre Genômica (ICG-10) será em outubro 3
(Date:8/31/2015)... -- US-Australian drug discovery company, Novogen Limited (ASX: NRT; ... scientific review has identified high value opportunities for ... patient need. Novogen is moving as quickly as ... entering into Phase 1 clinical trials with our ... Officer, Iain Ross , said that following ...
(Date:8/31/2015)... ... August 31, 2015 , ... Regulatory agencies have ... drug development approval process. Thus, innovator companies must understand what will be needed ... Chicago-based CMO, has been hosting multiple educational panels and seminars for experts to ...
(Date:8/28/2015)... Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/zsgg5n/global_and_usa ) ... USA BioSimilar Market Analysis to 2021" report to ... market will be initiated in September as Sandoz launches ... global market react? Will biosimilars explode into the biologics ... US economy up to $250 billion within the next ...
(Date:8/28/2015)... ... 2015 , ... Riordan-McKenna Institute founders, stem cell ... the use of sterile, dehydrated amniotic tissue AlphaPATCH™ developed by Amniotic Therapies ... knee wound. , The case involved a 78-year-old male, who presented with a ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Novogen Announces The Outcome Of A Comprehensive Science Review 2Novogen Announces The Outcome Of A Comprehensive Science Review 3Novogen Announces The Outcome Of A Comprehensive Science Review 4Novogen Announces The Outcome Of A Comprehensive Science Review 5Novogen Announces The Outcome Of A Comprehensive Science Review 6Regis Shares Expert Advice on Impurities in Drug Development 2Regis Shares Expert Advice on Impurities in Drug Development 3Global & USA BioSimilar Market Analysis Report 2015-2021 2Global & USA BioSimilar Market Analysis Report 2015-2021 3Dallas-Fort Worth Stem Cell Researchers Use Amniotic Tissue To Successfully Treat Non-Healing Surgical Wound 2Dallas-Fort Worth Stem Cell Researchers Use Amniotic Tissue To Successfully Treat Non-Healing Surgical Wound 3Dallas-Fort Worth Stem Cell Researchers Use Amniotic Tissue To Successfully Treat Non-Healing Surgical Wound 4
Cached News: