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:3/31/2015)... 2015   Guidepoint , a leading global research ... Pain Management TRACKER, part of the Guidepoint TRACKER ... the medical device and therapeutics markets. The Post-Surgical Pain ... volumes, market share, and adoption rates across three major ... surgery. The Post-Surgical Pain Management TRACKER will ...
(Date:3/26/2015)... The Granite Club, Canada,s ... announced it has implemented a state-of-the-art access and security ... and staff, while restricting access to authorized users only. ... IMID Access system because it has the perfect combination ... in addition to unparalleled security," said James DiRenzo ...
(Date:3/24/2015)... Mar. 24, 2015 Research and Markets ( http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/kvdtcw/face_and_voice ... Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. ... Voice Biometrics in US$ Thousands by the following Segments: Face Biometrics, ... US, Canada , Japan , ... Middle East & Africa , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):Guidepoint Launches Post-Surgical Pain Management TRACKER 2Guidepoint Launches Post-Surgical Pain Management TRACKER 3Granite Club First Private Club in North America to Implement FST Biometrics Secure Access Solution, as Part of Multi-million Dollar Expansion 2Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 2Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 3Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 4Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 5Face and Voice Biometrics - Global Strategic Business Report 2015: Face Recognition Gains Prominence in Immigration Control 6
(Date:4/24/2015)... Telbec/ - Mirego, leader in mobile strategies and solutions, is ... app extensions for the all new Apple Watch. Made in ... and MediaMiser, these extensions will reinvent the way users receive ... wrist use.  Available today in ... tactile smartwatch that makes for an excellent buddy for business, ...
(Date:4/24/2015)... 2015 Seoul Semiconductor announced the ... applications in the lighting market. In recent ... this technology in emerging markets such as Russia, ... range of applications such as streetlight and area ... , First launched in 2005 the Acrich technology ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... Mount Dora, Florida (PRWEB) April 23, 2015 ... announced that it intends to conduct a groundbreaking ... can begin to be reversed in as little ... researchers—using the science of metabolic and nutritional medicine—will ... conditions that cripple and destroy our aging brain. ...
(Date:4/23/2015)... 2015 Six startups from Russia ... 4-17 as part of the U.S.-Russia Innovation Corridor ... of biotechnology startups to participate in the program ... and the University of Maryland (UMD) signed a ... respective universities in the biomedical industry in 2013. ...
Breaking Biology Technology:Familiprix, OMSignal and MediaMiser apps available today for Apple Watch 2Acrich Technology from Seoul Semiconductor Adopted in Installations Worldwide 2New Study Looks to Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease 2New Study Looks to Reverse Alzheimer’s Disease 3U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 2U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 3U.S.-Russian Innovation Corridor Program Connects Visiting Russian Startups to U.S. Experts 4
Cached News: