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super-clawed ?Azhdarchide



Frey and Tischlinger 2000 discuss and picture a hind limb and much of a
forelimb of an unusual Crato Fm. pterosaur with quite large claws,
extended somewhat by loose claw sheaths.

They tentatively identified the pterosaur as an azdarchide, I think due
to the T-shaped cross section of an associated wing phalanx.

A recent cladistic analysis places it instead near the Dsungaripterids.
Nearly all characters match, except that the pedal penultimate phalanges
are the longest in each series, suggesting an arboreal, rather than
terrestrial lifestyle. Of course the hyper claws also suggest an
arboreal form.

Noripterus may have similarly large pedal claws, but the ventral
portions are buried in matrix. This is the only other dsungaripterid pes
with which I am familiar. The first wing phalanx has a T-shaped cross
section.

Anyone else come to similar or dissimilar conclusions? Is there a paper
coming out soon detailing this specimen and giving it a name or number?

David Peters
St. Louis