> Mike has presented calculations that these giants would have sufficient on-board energy resources to travel the planet, their speed and flight range being sufficient to ignore most geographical barriers.
This made me, sitting at my computer in 2019, a little bit scared of pterosaurs. The thing can come from the other side of the world and gobble you up like a snack.
Actually, many of them: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pfeilstorch
"Some theories of the time held that they turned into mice, or hibernated at the bottom of the sea during the winter, and such theories were even propagated by zoologists of the time."
>Before migration was understood, people had no other explanation for the sudden annual disappearance of birds like the white stork and barn swallow. Some theories of the time held that they turned into mice
1822 seems far too late
However, I’d argue that this is the right level of technical detail for a layman. Just consider how much denser a typical academic paper is. This strikes a great balance in citing lots of research and offering accessibile summaries of that research. This keeps the reader from getting lost in jargon and references, but gives them the opportunity to dig in if they wish.
I think that science writing in this vein is much more likely to catch the public’s attention that the shallow science articles we typically see. It doesn’t insult the reader’s intelligence, rather it invites it.
Uh, isn't that what I said? :)
Wow, I wasn't even aware there were pterosaurs this large. I thought the Pteranodon was the largest of them all, but Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx dwarf it. They are really impressive.
I'm not scared of these giant reptiles though, but awed. It'd be awesome if it was possible to see one of them in real life. I wonder if people in the near future will feel this way about lions and tigers, "such a shame I missed them!". But even in that sad future, at least there would be video recordings.
"Another major red flag common to all cranks is their frequent comparison between themselves and scientists who received establishment pushback against their ideas - Wegner, Galileo, Darwin and so on."
The article you posted:
"It is admirable how the persistent efforts of a handful of Wegener’s converts were able to overcome the arrogance of the majority." ... "This present article is having a somewhat similar history."
"Saving the best until last: yes, unbelievable as it is, there are individuals who suggest mainstream scientists are somehow organising against them to suppress their work. While maybe not imagining something as sinister as the Big Pharma conspiracy, some cranks infer that palaeontology is governed by individuals who dictate what is and what isn't acceptable science, and who forbid the publication of work that challenges the status quo."
"This paper in its various versions has had a battered history. Here are the journals that were sent this paper and either returned it unread or just discarded it." "It seems that this paper is too radical for today’s journals."
By the way, the article from your link is not by the guy who posted the copy of it on his blog, but by a much older chemist:
That (the newer one, from your link) was published by: “Chemical innovation 30 (12), 50-55, 2000”
Compare with the peer reviewed, not confirming "many times higher pressure" claim:
"We show from the analysis of nitrogen and argon isotopes in fluid inclusions trapped in 3.0- to 3.5-billion-year-old hydrothermal quartz that the partial pressure of N2 of the Archean atmosphere was lower than 1.1 bar, possibly as low as 0.5 bar, and had a nitrogen isotopic composition comparable to the present-day one. These results imply that dinitrogen did not play a significant role in the thermal budget of the ancient Earth and that the Archean partial pressure of CO2 was probably lower than 0.7 bar."
There is sure possibility that the pressure changed through the times, but not alk “proofs” are real proofs.
So it's simply wrong mentioning "billions of years" when humans worry for the environment in which they can live while depending on it.
For most of the "billions" of years on Earth, there wasn't anything on land, and the "life" in oceans was not something we understand as today's life, and the environment could not support our life (as in, there was not even enough oxygen!). The Earth started to "resemble its present state" only less than 400 million years ago:
Human civilizations exists only less than ten thousands of years, during which the climate was very stable (until the recent human influences):
I don't doubt the quad launch, just that animation of it.
If the animal can just get itself gliding, I think it is possible to continue generating lift even while raising its wings into position for a downstroke - what it needs to do is maintain a positive angle of attack while doing so. At least when they are not hovering, birds continue to generate lift on the upstroke.
A headwind would make it easier, and perhaps that or a downslope might have been necessary.
Yes, that's a jump. This is a very light animal relative to its wing strength, it should be able to jump very high.
By the article, those animals should be stronger (relatively to their weight) than birds, only comparable to bats, and most people simply don't believe the kind of maneuvers bats can do.
I trust the simulations mentioned in the article take this into account, but the grandparent is right that this is not it all obvious from the video. In fact the video shows very leven flight motion while the wings are brought up, which absolutely would not be the case.
The key bit is right at the end, showing launch in real time. There is no descent for lack of lift because there is no time for it to happen in. While the animal is still rising from the jump, the wings swing out and take up the load, in a fractional second.
It would be terrifying to have it happen toward you, even as it swept over.
I have a small issue with this statement. 90kph for 90 seconds is only enough for a bit more than 2km of flight and probably even less since accelerating to this speed would take not be almost instantaneous either.
Dropping a mass (head/neck) from higher up while launching keeps the center of gravity about the same requiring much less effort for the critical "get off the ground" phase.
Perhaps the article addressed this; I'm only halfway through.
Video I took the other week of one: https://serio.com.au/images/projects/eyre-peninsula-videos/S...
It's nice to know that humanity is the same everywhere.
As for me, I'm more curious about their heads. For an animal the size of a giraffe, they're feckin' huge. What's up with that?