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Re: Fwd: the largest Pterosaur



Very nice work, Mark.  The scale diagram really runs home how large the animals 
were.  I wonder if Hatzegopteryx actually outweighed Q. northropi, though.  The 
images of the Hatzegopteryx humerus do not suggest to me an animal any more 
robust than Q. northropi, though I admit to having only seen images and not the 
actually specimen.  The wingspan may have indeed been larger, but that may not 
be a particularly good correlate of mass in this case.  Any thoughts?

--Mike H.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mark Witton <Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk>
Date: Monday, April 23, 2007 11:28 am
Subject: Fwd: the largest Pterosaur
To: sakata-c@asahi.com, dinosaur@usc.edu


> Hi there,
>  
>  The biggest pterosaurs are not known from complete specimens, so all
>  the figures you see on this subject are only estimates based on
>  extrapolation from smaller, more complete finds. Currently, the record
>  holders amongst pterosaurs (and, indeed, all volant animals) are the
>  giant azhdarchids, enormous pterosaurs that existed across the world 
> in
>  the Cretaceous. The best known of these is Quetzalcoatlus nothropi from
>  the Javelina Formation of Texas. Known from a stupendously big humerus
>  and other fragmentary elements, the wingspan of this animal is estimated
>  at 10 - 11 m with a shoulder height of 2.5 m when it stood on the
>  ground. 
>  
>  However, other azhdarchids known from even scantier material hint at
>  bigger animals. Arambourgiania philidelphae, a pterosaur known from a
>  solitary neck vertebrae and scrappy wing elements from Jordan, may have
>  achieved a wingspan of 11 - 13 m. However, Hatzagopteryx thambema is 
> the
>  current record holder for the largest pterosaur known: with only a few
>  pieces of skull and a couple of scrappy limb elements, estimates for
>  this critter put it between 12 - 14 m across the wings.
>  
>  At the risk of blowing my own trumpet, you can see for yourself how big
>  some of these pterosaurs got here:
>  
>  
>  
>  
>  And, for more pterosaur-y goodness (including pictures of monstrously
>  big pterosaurs), check out the DML endorsed:
>  
>   
>  
>  Cheers, 
>  
>  Mark Witton
>  
>  --
>   
>  Mark Witton
>   
>  Palaeobiology Research Group
>  School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
>  University of Portsmouth
>  Burnaby Building
>  Burnaby Road
>  Portsmouth
>  PO1 3QL
>   
>  Tel: (44)2392 842418
>  E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk
>  
>  
>  >>> <sakata-c@asahi.com> 23/04/2007 12:07 >>>
>  Dear lists, 
>  
>  I would appreciate it if someone could tell me.
>  
>  What is the most largest Pterosaur?
>  
>  
>  Chisako SAKATA