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PTEROSAURS WITH 5 MANUAL DIGITS



(Or perhaps, a la Gauthier, I should say 'manal').

Jonathan Wagner has bought this up (any pun based on the subject of vomiting is
not intentional;))...

>         As for the out-to-in direction, well, I recall that pterosaurs lost
> their manual digit V, no?  Why?  To improve the efficiency of the airfoil?

It's worth pointing out - and all I'm doing is pointing is out - that a number
of pterosaur workers now think that the pteroid is digit 1. If this is correct,
the wing-digit is no. 5, and pterosaurs have retained the pentadactyl manus
(albeit, highly modified).

With regard to Jonathan's lattermost sentence, whether loss of a fifth digit
is advantageous or not is unknowable, untestable and _probably_ not correct:
it wouldn't just be stuck there as a useless redundant object, but be
incorporated into the patagium. Witness bats. With birds, things are
different. Digits do not play a part in support of the (avian) distal
aerofoil, and retention of them could not be advantageous.

DARREN NAISH