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Old 02-12-2019, 11:22 AM   #11
lwcamp
 
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

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I was aware before how big they were, but Luke, you've given me a sudden appreciation for how terrifying they were.
Bwa-hahaha!

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With the strength of their forelimbs, is the mouth (beak?) designed such that it makes sense they might be able to pin a human down and pull more-bite-sized limbs off or otherwise pieces? I'm thinking like a predatory bird eats, such as a falcon or eagle.
It's not hooked, which seems like it would make that harder, and I don't know if the long neck/beak would mess with leverage.
Looking around a bit, I found the following paper on Azhdarchid neck biomechanics
https://peerj.com/articles/2908/
I lifted the following quote
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Originally Posted by Naish and Witton
Modern studies on azhdarchid foraging behaviour suggest that they were terrestrially-foraging generalists (Witton & Naish, 2008; Witton & Naish, 2015; Carroll, Poust & Varricchio, 2013; Witton, in press). What little is known of giant azhdarchid anatomy is similar enough to that of the smaller, better known azhdarchids to assume that they also foraged terrestrially, albeit perhaps with a greater emphasis on carnivory. We propose that gracile giants like Arambourgiania consumed relatively small prey such as early juvenile and hatchling dinosaurs, large eggs and other diminutive components of Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems (Fig. 9A). This is in keeping with proposals that some giants occupied ‘middle tier’ predatory niches in some Cretaceous ecosystems (Witton & Naish, 2015). Hatzegopteryx, however, shows potential for tackling much larger prey items, perhaps even killing animals too large to ingest whole (modern azhdarchid analogues, such as storks, are capable of attacking large animals, and killing human children, with their azhdarchid-like beaks: see Witton & Naish (2015) for discussion). Hatzegopteryx is the largest terrestrial predator known in Maastrichtian eastern Europe by some margin (Witton & Naish, 2015): its size, robust anatomy, and the deficit of other large carnivores in well-sampled European deposits implies that it may have been an arch predator in its community (Fig. 9B).
So from this, I would guess that Quetzalcoatlus and Aramourgiania wouldn't have been very good t dismembering prey and probably just swallowed up to dog-sized things whole, but Hatzegopteryx might well have been able to tear its victims apart, maybe by gripping a limb in its beak and vigorously shaking, or by grabbing one end in its beak, stomping on the other end, and then just pulling up with its powerful neck muscles.

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Old 02-12-2019, 11:53 AM   #12
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

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So from this, I would guess that Quetzalcoatlus and Aramourgiania wouldn't have been very good t dismembering prey and probably just swallowed up to dog-sized things whole, but Hatzegopteryx might well have been able to tear its victims apart, maybe by gripping a limb in its beak and vigorously shaking, or by grabbing one end in its beak, stomping on the other end, and then just pulling up with its powerful neck muscles.

Luke
Going by certain other factors regarding mythical correspondence, I had, indeed, decided that the magical pterosaurs in question ought to be based on European archosaurs. This caused me to look quite hard at the Hatzegopteryx and the Coloborhynchus.*

The supernatural pterosaurs should be adapted to life in a Low Mana zone, which makes them about 40% stronger for their weight than they'd be without magic, but they must be capable of surviving in No Mana zones, where they are no stronger than real animals of that size, and Normal Mana, where they are almost twice as strong for their weight, though in such areas there are even more exotic critters that out-compete them handily, not to mention that some of them can kill them easily with supernatural powers.

As mana is used by many animals in this world as a partial food source, Normal and High Mana areas are incredibly rich in biodiversity and in biomass, which means that the supernatural pterosaurs do make occasional forays into higher magic areas to hunt or scavenge, but they prefer to live and breed in Low Mana zones, where most of the strongly-supernatural predators that can pose a serious threat to them do not usually go.

The reason they have to be able to live in No Mana Zones is that mana fluctates over time and some areas might suddenly become No Mana and if the supernatural pterosaurs were incapable of even escaping such areas when that happened, they'd be that much more likely to be extinct. Which, don't get me wrong, a lot of these magic-adapted critters do, with some regularity, but I wanted to feature these species as particularly successful survivors in this magico-Mesozoic era.**

*Dragons are cooler with teeth, if only so dragon hunters can wear necklaces of dragon's teeth.
**I probably don't even need to specify that it exists inside a Hollow Earth and that the external world is a frozen snowball, in accordance with the best Welteislehre. The Antarctic Space Nazis mean that this is just sort of implied. Also, that the mana is called vril by all serious Antarctic Space Nazi occultists.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:28 PM   #13
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

1) If a pterosaur with Luke's proposed BL 100 or so can lift its own weight of 550 lbs. and maybe 50-100 extra lbs. of food, either in their belly or beak, what can the same pterosaur, but with its muscles enhanced with magic up to a BL 135, lift as it achives flight?

Realistically, I mean. That is, the magic doesn't play tricks with physics, it's the same creature with the same biomechanics, only instead of ST 22, it's got ST26. Do I figure it as BLx6 (or so) for 600 lbs., which is used for 550 + 50 lbs. = 50 lbs. payload, in the first case, and BLx6 = 870, which results in 550 + 320 lbs. = 320 lbs. payload in the second?

Or is there a less simple, but more realistic formula?

2) How do you ride a pterosaur? I mean, physically? In a harness strapped below, somehow? Strapped between the wings?

You'd use a harness, how much would one of these weight, assuming you made it from TL6-7 materials and were trying for the best design you could get while remaining light?
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:24 PM   #14
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

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1) If a pterosaur with Luke's proposed BL 100 or so can lift its own weight of 550 lbs. and maybe 50-100 extra lbs. of food, either in their belly or beak, what can the same pterosaur, but with its muscles enhanced with magic up to a BL 135, lift as it achives flight?
Depends on what other stuff scales. In principle it can increase its max flight weight from, say, 650 lb to 875 lb, which would let it fly at Light encumbrance instead of No, but doing so will require a 16% increase in flight speed and a 57% increase in power output (multiply required flight speed by the square root of the weight multiplier; multiply required power by the 3/2 power).
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2) How do you ride a pterosaur? I mean, physically? In a harness strapped below, somehow? Strapped between the wings?
Depends how they're set up. Strapped on top seems the least likely to kill you during takeoff and landing, but the straps might interfere with flight muscles.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:34 PM   #15
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

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Depends on what other stuff scales. In principle it can increase its max flight weight from, say, 650 lb to 875 lb, which would let it fly at Light encumbrance instead of No, but doing so will require a 16% increase in flight speed and a 57% increase in power output (multiply required flight speed by the square root of the weight multiplier; multiply required power by the 3/2 power).
Well, nothing physically changes. The critter absorbs mana as an extra source of energy and gets magically stronger, as their muscles are now partly supernatural. The ability to 'eat' mana exactly compensates for the extra output of their muscles, so they need to eat the same amount, no matter what the mana level is.

And, yeah, I imagined they'd be correspondingly faster and more agile in flight if flying in mana zones without any encumbrance.

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Depends how they're set up. Strapped on top seems the least likely to kill you during takeoff and landing, but the straps might interfere with flight muscles.
Yep, that's why I figured I'd ask around, as I've seen many different interpretations of pterosaurs and don't really know if there's a plausible design that allows for a rider, but would welcome ideas.
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Old 02-13-2019, 06:46 PM   #16
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Default Biomechanics, Riders and Harness

If we take the Hatzegopteryx as our prototype as regard shape (size comparison of lower bound of size to human, one artist's interpretation, another interpretation in flight), what kind of harness would allow a human to ride a 550 lbs. specimen of one, assuming magic made it strong enough to manage the weight?

If the shape is wrong for anyone ever riding on it, what kind of pterosaur shape should I be looking for?

And what should the position of the rider be?
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:05 PM   #17
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Default Re: Biomechanics, Riders and Harness

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If we take the Hatzegopteryx as our prototype as regard shape (size comparison of lower bound of size to human, one artist's interpretation, another interpretation in flight), what kind of harness would allow a human to ride a 550 lbs. specimen of one, assuming magic made it strong enough to manage the weight?

If the shape is wrong for anyone ever riding on it, what kind of pterosaur shape should I be looking for?
This is James Guerny's design
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/...20120916030724
https://i2.wp.com/www.danconnolly.co...uet.jpg?w=1023
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pkBi4wOu0n...isode%2B7a.jpg

I'm not sure it is the best design, but it is a design, at least.

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And what should the position of the rider be?
You want the rider to be right over the center of mass while in flight (which also happens to be at the center of lift). This will be approximately at the centroid of the wing shape when viewed from the top, so from
http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/...teryx-size.jpg
it looks like you want the rider's center of mass to be about the middle of the back - still over the rib cage but behind the shoulder blades.

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Old 02-13-2019, 10:23 PM   #18
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Default Re: Biomechanics, Riders and Harness

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This is James Guerny's design
https://vignette.wikia.nocookie.net/...20120916030724
https://i2.wp.com/www.danconnolly.co...uet.jpg?w=1023
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pkBi4wOu0n...isode%2B7a.jpg

I'm not sure it is the best design, but it is a design, at least.

You want the rider to be right over the center of mass while in flight (which also happens to be at the center of lift). This will be approximately at the centroid of the wing shape when viewed from the top, so from
http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/...teryx-size.jpg
it looks like you want the rider's center of mass to be about the middle of the back - still over the rib cage but behind the shoulder blades.

Luke
Nice!

That actually looks like a fairly comfortable shooting position. Arm the riders with rifles with shortened barrels for maneuverability and a baffle suppressor, the latter to try to minimize harm to the poor mount when shooting, and you have a pretty decent scouting unit with self-defence capability.
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Old 02-14-2019, 06:03 AM   #19
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

The grenade in a jar trick from Vietnam would also work. Pull pin, stick in a glass jar, drop. When it hits the ground the jar breaks and the spoon comes off.
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Old 02-14-2019, 07:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Pterosaur Size, Weight, ST and Maximum Encumbrance when Flying

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The grenade in a jar trick from Vietnam would also work. Pull pin, stick in a glass jar, drop. When it hits the ground the jar breaks and the spoon comes off.
Yes, certainly. That's a nice idea if these pterasaurs would be used in warfare against ground-based targets.

Which really depends on how much they can comfortably carry in Low Mana Zones. I imagined that the Antarctic Space Nazis would train a few (using magic) to serve as mounts for scouts that went ahead of anyone else into new worlds discovered through the World Tree and found to have higher levels of mana than Germania Hyperborea (a Low Mana world with occasional Places of Power, environs and 'ley lines' that are higher). It's in Germania Hyperborea where bombs dropped from the air would be most useful to the ASNs, as in other worlds, they rarely want or need to engage more than point targets, at least not until they bring over more of a military presence than flying scouts.

I'm sure that in Normal Mana and higher, these pterasaurs are absolutely strong enough to easily carry a human rider, saddle, harness and even some arms and supplies. I'm equally sure that in No Mana Zones, they could never achieve flight with a human on their back. What I haven't fully worked out is if they could serve as mounts useful in warfare in No Mana Zones, where their strength-for-weight is 'only' 35-40% higher than than of actual, natural pterosaurs.

Knowing the weight of the saddle and harness could be important there, if every pound of weight matters.
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