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Re: Did pterosaurs feed by skimming?
> However, the exquisitely preserved
> azhdarchid cervicals from the Judith River Formation show both stonking
> hypapophysis and exapophyses as well as articulatory facets on the
> posterodorsal side of the procoelus condyle only. To me, this all points
> to an neck that was not well versed in the act of ventroflexion. What's
> more, azhdarchid necks are famous for their cylindrical shape - there
> are none of the enlarged processes we should expect in an animal that
> exerts strong forces on it's neck.
It seems that such rigidity could also be a means to resisting large forces,
though. One method of resisting forces is to expand muscle mass and/or change
muscle moment arms. But direct bracing is also a feasible solution, for
certain types of loads. This is not to say that a stiff neck implies skimming,
per se, but I am not certain we can conclude that azhdarchids were not exerting
substantial forces on their necks.