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The flying ability of the pterosaur
Quetzalcoatlus northropi
in a reduced gravity


by

Stephen W. Hurrell



Abstract

The envisaged flying ability of the gigantic Quetzalcoatlus northropi pterosaur has produced ongoing debate since its first discovery, mainly because aeronautical calculations show it is too large to produce continuous powered flight in our gravity. This problem has encouraged a number of authors to suggest that continuous powered flight might be possible in a reduced gravity. This study quantifies the flying ability of a Quetzalcoatlus northropi in a reduced gravity of 0.62g (6.08 m/s2). The results show that Quetzalcoatlus northropi was capable of producing continuous powered flight in this reduced gravity, allowing its flying ability to be comparable with the largest flying animals of today.

First Published: 16 December 2020

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Accompanying poster presented at the 2020 Annual Meeting of the Palaeontological Association here




Suggested Citing Format
Hurrell, S.W. (2020). The flying ability of the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus northropi in a reduced gravity. http://dinox.org/hurrell2020d







Page created   02 Oct  2020
Page updated  15 Dec  2020
Quetzalcoatlus northropi and a giraffe to the same scale