[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index][Subject Index][Author Index]

DECOUPLING & PTEROSAUR WINGS



Decoupling is the correct term with reference to the caudofemoral musculature
in birds versus that in non-bird theropods, yes (see Gatesy's stuff), but not
with reference to association between the wings and hindlimbs.

With regard to the situation in pterosaurs, new material in press ups the stakes
for the 'extensive patagia' model. There is a new 3-D pelvis from the Santana
(I'm not allowed to say just what it shows.. but it's interesting), and David
Unwin is redescribing an azhdarchid (first described as a pteranodontid*) that,
apparently, has degenerate hindlimbs. 

There is also new stuff in progress relating to the specialised morphology of
the elongate 5th pedal digit in rhamphorhynchids which Unwin and Bakhurina have
previously interpreted (in _Sordes_) as a kind of reversed analogue to the
calcar bone in bats (in bats, the calcar braces the edge of the uropatagium
[between ankles and incorporating tail], whereas in the pterosaurs digit 5 would
brace the edge of the main wing membrane). Padian has previously argued that
preserved overlapping membranes in, for example, the Vienna _Pterodactylus_
specimen, do not necessarily represent part of the wing.

A uropatagium (between ankle and top of inner thigh) is apparently present in
a specimen of _Eudimorphodon_ (D. Peters pers. comm.), as well as in
_Pterodactylus_, but remains controversial. 

*Not _Bennetazhia_, or however you spell it.

"Can I keep you?"

DARREN NAISH
dwn194@soton.ac.uk