Monday, 4 May 2009
Study suggests pterosaurs not just scary, also kinda gross
National Geographic is reporting that a recent University of Tokyo study contends that pterosaurs--previously the largest prehistoric creature believed to have taken to the sky--actually might have been simply too heavy to fly. The findings are based on a study of modern birds that shows anything heavier than 90 pounds, with a wingspan greater than 16.7 feet, just straight up couldn't flap it's giant, terrifying wings fast enough to keep the bird/winged reptile/pegasus in the air.
So what do they think pterosaurs did with their wings? Did they just bumble along on the ground running into stuff and screeching? NO. They think they might have swam. Gross. Just imagine: you're at the beach, splashing around with your friends and suddenly you see a ripple in the water and THIS THING swimming at you. In the sky, fine. In the water, hellz no. I don't care what pterosaurs got up to when they were flying around. Just keep 'em out of my swimming pool.
That being said, the whole rest of the article is all like, "Well here's a theory I kind of thought up while standing in line at the coffeeshop, but on second thought it doesn't really make any sense. But I'm saying it anyways because I'm a scientist. Even though it doesn't really make any sense, just so ya know." Read more in this National Geographic article, including reasons why hell, who knows, maybe they could fly! like really light bone density and wacky atmospheric conditions.