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re: Korean pterosaur tracks

Nothing like new data to shake up the old paradigm.

Just saw a PDF of the Korean giant pterosaur prints paper:

Geol. Mag. 139 (4), 2002, pp. 421?435. © 2002 Cambridge University Press
DOI: 10.1017/S0016756802006647 Printed in the United Kingdom
New pterosaur tracks (Pteraichnidae) from the Late
Cretaceous Uhangri Formation, southwestern Korea

I was puzzled by several things though.

The abstract notes " They [the prints] show virtually no trace of the
5th phalange of the pes, indicating that they were made by
pterodactyloids;" yet figure 4 shows an enormous fifth digit -- the only
digit noted, as a matter of fact. The text also refers to " There is a
thick, short impression of digit V".

This digit would be the largest digit V among all pterodactyloids. I
checked against the Cai and Wei 1994 paper and sure enough, there's a
pretty big digit V there. Goes halfway down the long metatarsus, just
like the footprint shows. I'm revising my drawings. Cladistically it
appears to have regrown, a reversal rather than a retention.

The authors made a pretty big deal about the evidence for webbed feet.
IMHO, since all anurognathids were webbed, and a number of other much
more aquatic forms were also, the big surprise would be if someone found
a pterosaur that was _not_ web-footed.

The following goes under the category: "Anything they say is okay, as
long as they spell my name right.":

The authors note that I said (Peters 2000) "all pterosaur tracks were
made by the Ctenochasmatidae?" and then commented, "This seems extremely
doubtful?" when in reality I said in the conclusion of my paper, "all
_known_ pterosaur tracks." At the time of that paper's writing, a year
before publication, that was true. Since one of the authors of the
Korean paper has been openly hostile to my work here on the DinoList,
it's obvious who penned that biased remark.

Finally in the errors and omissions department, the paper compared the
Korean prints to the supposed "azdarchoid" of Frey and Tischlinger
(2000). Unfortunately these authors and the Korean footprint authors
failed to note that azhdarchids have very small unguals, whereas the
supposed "azdarchoid" has huge unguals. Although similar in many
respects, cladistic analysis places the "azdarchoid" in with the
germanodactylids, a more diverse family than most workers realize.

All for now.

David Peters
St. Louis