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Re: pterosaur toes

-----Original Message-----
From: Betty Cunningham <bettyc@flyinggoat.com>
To: dinosaur@usc.edu <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2000 1:48 PM
Subject: Re: pterosaur toes

>I'm not sure but I think the first peron to depict the toe like that was
>Kevin Padian and everybody else who does bipedal pterosaurs does it that
>way 'cause he did.
>I don't know why the toe is shown like that -weight stress on that toe
>in that position SHOULD have led to a more robust side where the toe
>attaches to the foot, and I don't believe we see that.
>It would be like the weight distribution on a stiletto high heel, only
>the heel is dipicted angled, not vertical, and curved, not straight.
>That comparison alone should convinve people that if the toe was
>supporting the weight of the animal as a high heel does, then it should
>be thicker than it is to stand up to the weight strain.
>-Betty Cunninham
>dbensen wrote:
>> I notice that in many reconstructions of primitive pterosaurs and the
ansestors of
>> pterosaurs (like the prolactiforms), the outermost toe is shown bent
under the
>> foot to sort of prop the appendage up.  Is there any particular reason
for this
>> arrangement?

It looks as if the fifth toe could have been used as a prop in a bipedal
stance for some of the earlier pterosaurs, but it also looks to me as if
it`s apparant opposition to the other toes would be ideal for grasping Cycad
fronds, and climbing the mid-rib in a ladderlike fashion. The angle of the
foot , as viewed in the John Sibbick drawings on pg 70 and 71 of
Wellnhofer`s book "Prehistoric Flying Reptiles" show this quite
clearly.....(although,...the Dimorphodon on pg 71 appears to have two right