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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" <email@example.com>
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
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
I'd be quite interested to hear what others think, as well.
Michael Habib, M.S.
Center for Functional Anatomy and Evolution
Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
1830 E. Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21205
(443) 280 0181