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Pterosaur stuff (was Lü and Li 2006, a review)

Meanwhile, back on planet earth....

Lü and Li is, in fact, Lü and Ji, 2006. They adopted Kellner's 2003 data set 
(apparently a modified version of Kellner, 1996, that resurfaced in Kellner, 
2004 and Wang et al., 2005) adulterated/improved it (depending on your personal 
prejudice) with several characters from Unwin, 2003, added a few more taxa, all 
from the Jehol Biota, and omitted several others. I  doubt that leaving out P. 
zambelli, E. rosenfeldti, 'Ornoithocheirus' (never seen it spelt like that 
before) 'compressiorstris' (or that) and N. bonneri had a serious impact on the 
outcome, but hey, don't take my word for it, go check it yourself. 
Topographically the trees generated by Lü and Ji, 2006, are similar to those 
produced by Kellner, but as their character set is dominated by Kellner's data 
this should not even elicit the merest hint of surprise. Interestingly, 
dsungaripterids pop up in the middle of azhdarchoids, obviously the former 
decided that they couldn't manage without teeth, while several toothless forms
 (Eopteranodon, Chaoyangopterus), previously allied with ornithocheiroids, 
actually pair with azhdarchoids (again, I doubt anyone who has looked at these 
taxa will be much surprised). On the other hand, 'Nycosaurus' (who?) and 
Pteranodon crop out closer to azhdarchoids than to ornithocheiroids - which is 
a tad unexpected. Overall its a useful paper because it begins to sort out the 
relationships of some of the numerous new Jehol taxa, but clearly there is 
still a lot to do and not all of it involves a spell-checker. 

If you want to hear more about this then both Brian Andres and I will be giving 
talks on pterosaurs, including the (many) new Jehol taxa, at the upcoming IPC 
meeting in Beijing (I think we are both talking on the morning of June 20th in 
session T13 [www.ipc2006.ac.cn/Programs.htm], but I haven't seen the final 
running order yet). 

In the meantime, I have a small request. I am looking for any short film 
sequences (say 20 -30 seconds long) showing a pterosaur, or pterosaurs, in 
flight (doesn't matter if they are part of a much longer film). I have 
programme 4 of WWD (with the histrionic backing score), but feel sure that 
there are other potential sources out there. Any pointers would be most 



PS My congratulations to the soon to be Dr Naish and his excellent blog, even 
if it is inaccessible from the Middle Kingdom. 

PPS Rumours last year of an extra super giant pterosaur are, apparently, 
unfounded (doh). 

David M. Unwin PhD

Curator for Fossil Reptiles and Birds
Institut fur Palaontologie, MUSEUM FUR NATURKUNDE 
Zentralinstitut der Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin
Invalidenstrasse 43, D-10115 Berlin, GERMANY

Email: david.unwin@rz.hu-berlin.de

Office:    0049 30 2093 8577 
Secretary: 0049 30 2093 8862
Fax        0049 30 2093 8868

Would you like funds to visit the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin?
Then go to:  www.synthesys.info
Would you like to catch up on the latest ideas about pterosaurs?