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Big pterosaurs, early and later.

From: Ben Creisler bh480@scn.
Big pterosaurs, early and later.

Here are a couple of items--an abstract and a short news 
item--about big pterosaurs:

Dalla Vecchia, F. M. 2000. A wing phalanx of a large basal 
pterosaur (Diapsida, Pterosauria) from the Norian (Late 
Triassic) of NE Italy. Bollettino della Societa 
Paleontologica Italiana.39 (2): 229-234. 
Wing phalanx 4 of a large basal pterosaur is reported from 
the Dolomia di Forni Formation (middle Norian) of Friuli 
(northeastern  Italy). With a length of at least 137 mm, 
it is the longest wing phalanx 4 of a non-pterodactyloid 
pterosaur described up to now. This find from the Dolomia 
di Forni and others from Lombardy show that very 
large "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaurs were present in the 
earliest pterosaurian fossil record. This suggests that 
basal pterosaurs reached the large size early in their 
evolutionary history, at least by Norian times 

[My thumbnail estimate makes the likely total wingspan 
around 1.8 m. (6 ft).]

This is from New Scientist (Nov. 24, 2000):
Giants of the skies.
MASSIVE pterosaurs ruled the skies for far longer than 
anyone realised, tracks found in Korea suggest. 
The only known fossils of the largest ever flying 
animal, "Quetzalcoatlus northropi", date from the very end 
of the dinosaur era, 70 to 65 million years ago. This 
beast had a wingspan of up to 12 metres - the size of a 
small plane. 
A few years ago, however, palaeontologists in Korea found 
about four hundred pterosaur footprints, some up to 35 
centimetres long. They were made by an animal as big 
as "Quetzalcoatlus", Martin Lockley of the University of 
Colorado in Denver last month told a meeting of the 
Society for Vertebrate Paleontology. 
Now the Korean team has dated the tracks to between 82 and 
96 million years ago, showing that giant flying reptiles 
probably reigned for more than 20 million years. 
For more science news see http://www.newscientist.com