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Re: back to pteros

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Peters" <davidrpeters@earthlink.net>
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2005 1:26 PM

The first ptero egg turned out to be an anurognathid. You're not going to get
additional rostrum shortening in this clade,

Why? I can easily imagine it. For example my rostrum is _a lot_ shorter than even that of the quite immature holotype of *Anurognathus ammoni*. And that in spite of the fact that my eyes are much smaller relative to total head size.


Note that the rostrum shows no shortening whatsoever.

Compared to, say, an adult *Dsungaripterus*, your reconstruction _is_ quite cute. Not any cuter than a 1-year-old crocodile, but still! That said, I doubt the existence of the skull you "found" in the first place... look, it has a hole instead of a braincase...

Your examples of gharials and cranes unfortunately slipped back into archosaurs,
which are born cuter than most, as noted earlier.

I haven't seen enough hatchling lepidosaurs to be able to support that statement.

with regard to David Marjanovic's entreaties to find examples where the Photoshop
method works better than microscopic observations, I can think of only a one
example where that has been tested by others

1. The original Langobardisaurus paper by Silvio Renesto described a complete
skeleton with a skull and cervical series preserved beneath the rib cage. The
reconstruction showed a rather low skull with Macrocnemus proportions. My tracing
of a photo indicated a large, short-snouted, giant orbit (rather juvenile in all
aspects!) skull that subsequently was validated by the third Langobardisaurus
specimen with a skull out in the open.

How detailed was your tracing? Was it just a big triangle with a big circle near one edge? Or was it recognizable as a prolacertiform skull? In the former case I don't know how I could tell that single occurrence apart from a coincidence.

Other observations, such as the posterior of Longisquama, the forelimbs of
Sharovipteryx, the narrow chord wing on Sordes, the palate of Jeholopterus, the
sclerotic ring that turned out to be a premaxilla in Tischlinger's tiny
anurognathus and the like, have yet to be considered by others in print ? one way
or the other. Private requests to demonstrate alternate reconstructions and
phylogenies based on same have all gone unanswered ? but you can't blame them if
there's nothing there!

Unfortunately -- I'm not trying to be funny here -- many people believe there is such a thing as a question that doesn't "deserve" an answer. Some of those people seem to think you're just a generic pseudoscientist, and think it's a waste of time to discuss with pseudoscientists. For example, it took _decades_ before someone wrote a book that debunks Erich von Däniken (who gets rich by saying everything prehistoric was done by the extraterrestrials or at least for them), and not because it would have been difficult!

Anyone willing to sponsor me a trip to Kirgizstan or wherever the fossil of *Longisquama* resides, and to bribe or otherwise persuade the curators into letting me prepare it further? I'd be glad to test hypotheses like the hindquarters and the single or triple antorbital fenestra... a good look at the parabelievable parafeathers would be great while I am at it... Seriously. I think I could interrupt the work on my thesis for a few weeks.