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Pterosaur origins



Dear All,
 
The long awaited paper on pterosaur origins by Hone and Benton is now out in 
the Journal of Systematic Palaeontology. Hone and Benton reanalyse and reject 
the conclusions of Bennett 1996 and Peters 2000, and go with the current 
orthodoxy that pterosaurs are 'derived archosaurs' by which I suppose they mean 
ornithodirans. However, a recent paper (too recent to have been included in the 
Hone and Benton study) by Renesto and Binelli (2006) in Riv. Ital. Pal. Strat. 
on Vallesaurus concluded that pterosaurs grouped with Drepanosauridae, and that 
this clade was located between basal archosaurs and protorosaurs 
(Prolacertiformes). Topographically speaking this is only one step away from 
Bennett's hypothesis and also corresponds quite closely to the ideas espoused 
in The Pterosaurs. That said, much remains to be said and done on pterosaur 
origins. Hopefully, some of this will happen at the forthcoming Flugsaurier 
meeting  in Munich in September (http://flugsaurier.blogspot.com
 <http://flugsaurier.blogspot.com/> ) and for which you still have time to 
register and submit an abstract.  
 
Anyway, its back to the cricket with England on 85 for no wicket at lunch on 
the first day.  
 
Cheers,
 
Dave   
 
PS For up-to-date publications on the issue of pterosaur-bird interaction, 
evolution etc. see Zhou and Zhang (2007) Mesozoic birds of China --a synoptic 
review. Front. Biol. China 2007, 2(1), 1-14, and The Pterosaurs pp 
265-265(remaindered at only 16 dollars...sob).  
 
_____________________________________________________________________
David M. Unwin
Department of Museum Studies
University of Leicester
105 Princess Road East
LEICESTER LE1 2LG
UK
Email:     dmu1@le.ac.uk <mailto:dmu1@le.ac.uk>   
Work tel: +44 116 252 3947
Dept tel:  +44 116 252 3963
Fax:        +44 116 252 3960
http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/contactus/davidunwin.html 
<http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/contactus/davidunwin.html>  
<http://www.le.ac.uk/museumstudies/> 

Live in Europe and interested in visiting major European natural history 
collections?
Go to: www.synthesys.info <http://www.synthesys.info/> 
 
Would you like to catch up on the latest ideas about pterodactyls?
Read: The Pterosaurs
http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9780131463080,00.html
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