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MAASTRICHTIAN PTEROSAURS



Stan talks about Maastrichtian pterosaur diversity (or lack of), and says..

> And I know of only one or two families from the Maastrichtian (the
> one containing Quetzalcoatlus, and perhaps the one containing
> "Titanopteryx", if that is distinct). Indeed I only know of a small
> handful of *genera* in the Maastrichtian.

_Titanopteryx_, a name given to a cervical vert from a very large azhdarchid
pterosaur (variously misidentified as a metacarpal and a humerus over the
years), is a name preoccupied by a fly (Enderlein 1934), so Nessov renamed the
pterosaur _Arambourgiania_ (after the palaeontologist Arambourg, who also has
a crocodile and a fish named after him I think). Martill and Frey recently
published a paper on the material of this animal. It is a very large azhdarchid
- maybe even bigger than _Quetzalcoatlus_ (approx. 12 m wingspan) - and differs
from _Q_ in cervical vert morphology (the cross-sectional shape is especially
different between the two). There's a life size model of _Arambourgiania_'s head
at Portsmouth University (according to Martill), but I haven't seen it yet.

So, _Arambourgiania_ is another Maastrichtian azhdarchid. In fact, all
identifiable Maastrichtian pterosaurs are azhdarchids. Furthermore, in the late
Maastrichtian, the only azhdarchid thus far recognised is (AFAIK)
_Quetzalcoatlus_ itself. This is according to Padian, whom Archibald quotes in
his KT extinction book.

So pterosaurs were very poorly represented by late Maastrichtian times -
apparently only 1 genus made it close to the KT boundary. I wish those naive
people who think that pterosaurs large and small _still survive_ were aware of
this fact. And Dougal Dixon should have taken it into consideration before
inventing a diverse extant pterosaur community. Anyhow..

Can someone give a source for Greg Paul's recent mass estimate for
_Quetzalcoatlus_ please? Dr. Holtz mentioned it recently on the list.

NEW ZEALAND ADDENDA

Oh, the otter book I mentioned is by C.J. Harrison, not Matthews! And on the
subject of New Zealand's cryptozoology, note also that some big cats have been
reported from around Auckland. Honest!

"No longer can Antarctica be dismissed from our view of the history of life on
earth simply because so little is known about it..."

DARREN NAISH