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Re: Pterosaur arm supination (getting long)

What you say may well be so, Mike. No evidence that I know of either way.
My aside was related to the minimization of possible choking incidents. No way to reach the posterior portion of the mouth, and there is no way to dislodge recalcitrant meals, with the obvious effect on survivability. No evididence I know of either way for my aside either.

----- Original Message ----- From: "Michael Habib" <mhabib5@jhmi.edu>
To: <dinosaur@usc.edu>
Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2008 11:42 AM
Subject: Re: Pterosaur arm supination (getting long)

As an aside, they also seem to have been able to reach their jaw hinge with their hands -- which makes me speculate that the much elongated MCIV and shortened outer wing of Quetzalcoatlus is related to reaching the mouth after the neck elongation rather than anything driven by flight needs.

That's an interesting thought; I had not considered it. My frontrunner hypotheses for the MCIV elongation have been mostly flight-related, though it had also occurred to me that it might be related to terrestrial gait (by lengthening a portion of the forelimb that contributes to stance height, thereby elevating the anterior end of the animal). Yet another possibility is historical constraint: we may find that basal azhdarchoids shortened the overall wing, and then later forms re-elongated it, but luck had it that they did so via MCIV instead of phIV. That one is a bit of stretch, I think, but not impossible (it just lacks much evidence at present).

I'd be quite interested to hear what others think, as well.



Michael Habib, M.S. PhD. Candidate Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution Johns Hopkins School of Medicine 1830 E. Monument Street Baltimore, MD 21205 (443) 280 0181 habib@jhmi.edu