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Re: Pterosaur beaks and Killer Penguins!



Note:

  Previously I wrote about some hadrosaur called *Hypacrosaurus
sternbergi*, which is a misnomer, and the correct name is *H. stebingeri*.
One can easily postulate that *H. stebingeri* is a primitive species of
*Lambeosaurus*....

  Anyways, on with the show,

------

John Conway (john_conway@mac.com) wrote:

<I have noticed that many pictures of toothless pterosaurs (_Pteranodon_ 
etc.) show a small albatross-like hook at the end of the beak. Judging 
from the drawings and photos I have, albatrosses and toothless pterosaurs
do not have a similar bone structure at the end of the beak. Is there any
evidence for a hooked beak in toothless pterosaurs? Are these restorations
even plausible?>

  Actually, they are plausible, but not probable. Jaw anatomy indicates a
tendency for pteranodontids to have longer upper jaws than lower, with an
extreme overbite in one species of *Pteranodon* (but this may not be *P.
sternbergi*). *Pteranodon longiceps* probably had an underbite, and
several other toothless pterosaurs had jaws that were equally long above
and below. *Quetzalcoatlus* sp. jaws are evenly long above and below. Some
pterosaurs, like *Rhamphorhynchus*, have an overbite, but the shape of the
jaws is such that the rhamphotheca met at what is probably an underbite.
No known pterosaur has a hooked premaxilla that would form such a
seabird-like "nail" at the front. I believe this was done for *Pteranodon*
because it was considered pelagic.

---

  On the question of killer penguins, or specifically serrated bills in
seabirds, the pseudodontornithids (pelecaniforms, Pelecanae?) had
immensely long jaws with serrated margins, much more so than rhamphastids
(toucans and allies).

  Cheers,

=====
Jaime A. Headden

  Little steps are often the hardest to take.  We are too used to making leaps 
in the face of adversity, that a simple skip is so hard to do.  We should all 
learn to walk soft, walk small, see the world around us rather than zoom by it.

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