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re: Nemicolopterus phylogeny
I'm also one who cannot fathom how toothed spoonbilled pteros are derived from
toothless spear-tipped pteros. There's got to be a better cladogram!
It's noteworthy that in Nemicolopterus the toes increase in length from I to IV
and that unguals II-IV are aligned. That and dozens of other characters (like
basipterygoids fused and wide) nest Nemicolopterus at the base of the
Tapejaridae. Sinopterus is a sister taxon within that clade. Germanodactylus
cristatus (No. 61 of Wellnhofer 1970) and PAL 3830 ("super claws")are outgroup
taxa. "Super claws" would have had a tough time getting around anywhere but in
the trees. So the apple did not fall very far from that particular arboreal
And Yes, that's yet another tiny pterosaur at the base of a major clade. Funny
how often that happens. Zap! There goes arrow in the torso of Cope's Rule...
Yes (to another question) anurognathids are very close to the base of the
Pteosauria. And like Chris Bennett wrote in 1997 following earlier work by von
Huene (I think), pterosaurs are indeed derived from Triassic arboreal leapers.