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ptero and bat origins



A few author/artists have imagined what the transition from quadrupedal
diapsid to flying pterosaur might have looked like. Wellnhofer 1991
reproduced a Peters (no relation) and Gutmann 1985 series showing a
lizardy-looking diapsid gradually lengthening the flight finger. Wild
1984 (again reproduced in W. 1991) illustrated something similar. As
some of you know, I championed the semi-bipedal Cosesaur - Longisquama -
Sharovipteryx ancestry in which nearly every aspect of the basal
pterosaurian anatomy appears place before the twisting of the fourth
metacarpal and the subsequent hyper-flexion and hyper-elongation of that
digit.

Was wondering if anyone has done anything similar with the
"shrewy-looking placental" to bat transition?

If so, references please!

Some questions arise:

1. Were the outer four fingers at any time liberated from terrestrial
locomotion duties to gain the liberty of hyperelongation?

2. Were elongated pre-flying fingers used for any other purpose other
than gliding in bats?

3. Has any one yet figured out what the closest sister taxon to bats
might be? And if so, are any clues regarding flight origins forthcoming
from this relationship?

Just wondering...

David Peters
St. Louis