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re: nycto fingers

DP wrote:
> In Nyctosaurus the medial fingers apparently do not ossify in adults,
everyone, including myself and
> Chris Bennett, considered them gone. Nevertheless, they are present in
least four examples
> and I'll be showing some in October.

D. Marjanovic wrote:
How are they present? As skin impressions?

As bone impressions without color. Phalangeal lengths match the pattern
of sister taxa (Pteranodon, No. 13 and a private G. cristatus).

J. Headden wrote:
  Can you identify this in the given fossils without utilizing disputed
(and frankly, unproven) techniques? This is not to say to degrade your
work, but to use alternative lines of evidence.

Wrote this from the office as an offline reply. Now that I see the query
made the list I'll try to paraphrase it.

We'll see when I'm face to face with the fossil. It may be that tools
are needed to see the fingers, just as a prism is needed to break down a
star's spectrum, a  telescope is needed to see distant objects and an
oscilloscope is needed to slow down high-pitched sounds. Until then,
it's good to question all answers and test them like a good scientist.

Also, I should add, when you think something shouldn't be there, that
something is easy to overlook. Like clavicles on dinosaurs.

David Peters
St. Louis