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Re: thoughts on Pterasaur feet



Bettyc wrote:
> In addition, in the case of these specimens, the long toe is always in 
> similar orientation
> to the wing, INCLUDING FOLDS OR BENDS OF THE WING.
 <snip>
> I'm not saying there was any big, fancy membrane attach(ing) it to the wing.

I want to reitterate that I don't think this long toe was part of the
wing membrane structure.
Because the bodies of these pterasaurs has the long-toe oriented in
death as the wing is oriented in death, I think this means that the
long-toe and the wing were behaving similarily to each other, not that
they were attached.  A subtle distinction.
The way the sediment fell on the wings causing them to force themselves
into one plane is the same action for the long-toes--the same force
caused the toes to behave as the wings behaved.  How and why could they
do this unless they were behaved/constructed to move as the wings did?  
I don't believe simple support struts as in bats would behave like this
since the stronger muscles of the wing would control how the membrane
would move and the strut idea would have the long-toe supplemental to
the wing, not necessarily echoing it exactly.  The wing could be folded
over backwards and unless a tear formed in the membrane, in the case of
the long-toe-as-strut, the long-toe SHOULD also bend over backwards with
the membrane.  But it doesn't. 
I think this means a separate structure entirely-and without any
evidence of a large membrane at this long toe linking it to the wing,
likely there wasn't one.  I think it was it's own structure that echoed
the shape of the wing, perhaps with a (vestigal?) membrane of skinflap
as depicted as in Reichel's reconstruction.
-- 
           Betty Cunningham  
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