Review Questions for Biology 404

HOL Ch. 14: Flight

1. Distinguish these types of flight and give an example of each: 1) passive; 2a) gliding by parachuting; 2b) gliding by soaring; 3) powered flight. What primary morphological implications did powered flight have for birds, relative to their flightless therapod ancestors?

2. How do flying insects and birds differ with respect to their use of limbs?

3. What functions could wings have served before flight?

4. Compare/contrast the following lepidosaur gliders in terms of when they lived and how they achieved gliding: Coelurosauravus, Icarosaurus, Draco, and Sharovipteryx?

5. What similarities and differences did pterosuars have compared with flying birds? Distinguish how one could identify a pterosaur from the Jurassic vs. one from the Cretaceous. Why has Quetzalcoatlus been called "theoretically impossible?"

6. Older views of pterodactyloids have a wing membrane attach at the ankle. Kevin Padian thinks the wings were restrictred to the arm and body only, like birds. What implications would this have?

7. Contrast features that Archaeopteryx had or lacked with a closely-related therapod, like Compsognathus, and also with a more modern bird.

8. What are some alternative hypotheses for the original function of feathers?

9. Contrast the following "origin of flight" hypotheses: 1) arboreal; 2) cursorial; 3) display or fighting; 4) camouflage.

10. (From Lecture and the HOL Ch. 14 Web page) What implications does the newly discovered, Bambiraptor, have for understanding birds and their nearest relatives? When did Bambiraptor live compared to the first birds?

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