Pterosaurs evolved a muscular wing–body junction providing multifaceted flight performance benefits: Advanced aerodynamic smoothing, sophisticated wing root control, and wing force generation

@article{Pittman2021PterosaursEA,
  title={Pterosaurs evolved a muscular wing–body junction providing multifaceted flight performance benefits: Advanced aerodynamic smoothing, sophisticated wing root control, and wing force generation},
  author={Michael Pittman and Luke A. Barlow and Thomas G. Kaye and Michael B. Habib},
  journal={Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America},
  year={2021},
  volume={118}
}
  • M. Pittman, Luke A. Barlow, M. Habib
  • Published 18 October 2021
  • Environmental Science
  • Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Pterosaurs were the first vertebrate flyers and lived for over 160 million years. However, aspects of their flight anatomy and flight performance remain unclear. Using laser-stimulated fluorescence, we observed direct soft tissue evidence of a wing root fairing in a pterosaur, a feature that smooths out the wing–body junction, reducing associated drag, as in modern aircraft and flying animals. Unlike bats and birds, the pterosaur wing root fairing was unique in being primarily made of muscle… 
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