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RE: Nemicolopterus phylogeny

David Peters wrote:

> "Super claws" would have had a tough time getting
> around anywhere but in the trees.

Well, I'm guessing it got around fine in the air.


PAL 3830 ("super claws") is
the azhdarchoid that shows clear evidence of the cheiropatagium being attached
to the ankle.

[Clear evidence? Time to pony up. I'm eager to see what you have.]

I guess your argument is that because the hindlimbs are bound up
in the flight surface, the animal was ungainly on land, and so was limited to
the trees. I don't agree with this at all.

[This is really cool. You imagine my response then you argue against it. Why am I even responding to this? I sense a rant.]

I'd be more convinced of arboreality in PAL 3830 if it showed pedal characters associated with
suspensory or prehensile behavior, rather than simply having a 'broad- chord' wing.

[Tim, just for the record, the arboreality of SMNK PAL 3830 is in the "super claws" which curve an unbelievable semi-circle, tripling the length of each ungual. Plus, the penultimate phalanges are the longest in each digit series. These are the clues that suggest arboreality. Then again, I wasn't there.]

> 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...

As Mike said, this is actually consistent with Cope's rule. I think that arrow
of yours struck your own foot. Funny how that happens. ;-)

[Ancestors much bigger than descendants in this case. Did I misread Cope's rule? Is there an asterisk I missed?]

> 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.

It's a plausible idea, but we need proto-pterosaur fossils to verify this

[You don't like Sharovipteryx? Which genus is your closest candidate? Unwin (2006), the latest word on the subject, said it was an unspecified diapsid. Can you get _any_ closer?]