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Pterosaurs



1) Has anyone done a study of pterosaur brains relative to those of birds and bats? I recalled the recent "When Dinosaurs Roamed America" documentary where Sankar Chatterjee was relating how pterosaurs' brains were very small relative to their size, which he explained as an effect of pterosaurs evolving along coastal regions, as compared to the birds and bats which evolved flight from an arboreal lifestyle (or that's what he says)

On the other hand, I finally got around to reading Bob Bakker's Raptor Red, (which is mostly fiction, I know) in which he depicted pterosaurs as long-lived and highly intelligent.

Which is closer to the truth? Or were pterosaurs more likely to have typical reptilian brains?

2) I keep seeing reconstructions that show pterosaurs as being capable of being scavengers. I know that most pterosaurs seem to have been piscivorous, but do any pterosaurs show adaptations that may have allowed them to deviate from that? Modern seabirds fill a variety of niches, from auks, albatross, gannets, pelicans, cormorants, loons, grebes, gulls, skuas, terns, skimmers, tropicbirds, frigatebirds, petrels, fulmars... you get the picture. It's likely that many of these niches were occupied by birds, but what about the pterosaurs? Gulls seem to be more like multuipurpose scavengers as well, and skuas, giant petrels, and the larger gulls seem to be more predatory, preying upon smaller seabirds, while gulls, skuas and frigatebirds will harass other seabirds in order to steal their catch. Could any pterosaurs have filled this role?

And just think about this: all pterosaurs do not show adaptations for ripping and tearing meat. But could they have on occasion done things such as snapping up lizards and mammals while on the wing, or flying above dinosaur nests to snatch hatchlings and eggs? or perhaps feeding on carcasses after the dinosaurs had their fill? I know no pterosaur seems built like a vulture or condor, but pterosaurs seemed to be experts at soaring, and besides, marabou storks & corvids (crows, jackdaws, rooks, jays, magpies, ravens etc) have unspecialised beaks and yet eat a lot of carrion.

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