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TRIASSIC PTEROSAUR TRACKS and...



    Larry Febo asked, >I would like to know if there are any pterosaur
tracks noted from the Triassic. Can you cite any? Do they show a quadrupedal
stance???<

    Right off the top of my head, I can recall no publication of purported
pterosaur tracks from the Triassic.  However, I have an inquiry in to Martin
Lockley concerning this, and I may have a more informed answer to your
question before too long.

    If Triassic pterosaur tracks or trackways can be found (and if they are
recognizable as such), it surely would be interesting to study how these
differ from subsequent pterosaur tracks.  It might open a window of insight
(or at least some new direction of inquiry) into the evolution of these
wonderful animals, which have fascinated me (and caused me to attempt to
draw them) since I was in grade school.  I never could have suspicioned that
so many years later I would come across their remarkable tracks in Maryland
streambeds.  In such moments, the wonderous visions of one's childhood seem
to have casually strolled from the vagaries of memory onto the sunlit
beaches of lithic reality.

    Somewhat to my surprise, these imprints have become somewhat more
fascinating than the Maryland dinosaur tracks, even though the latter are so
diverse as to ichnospecies and size.  Perhaps it is the enigma(s) which
pterosaur tracks and trackways potentially help us penetrate, that make them
so tantalizing.

    I will be displaying some of my best pterosaur track specimens (along
with those of other Early Cretaceous animals) during a presentation at the
Calvert Marine Museum, Solomons, Maryland, this coming Saturday (December
16) at 2:30 p.m.  One manus imprint specimen lends itself to the
interpretation that a pterosaurian track maker did a quickie 'touch-and-go'
landing.  I will not try to describe how so, for it is best seen to be
appreciated.

    Ray Stanford