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Re: looking for illustration

It is also worth noting that despite some comments in the literature to the contrary, there is not much to really say that the three giants (Quetzalcoatlus northropi, Hatzegopteryx thambema, and Arambourgiana) are actually different animals. The only overlap in material is the humerus of Hatz and Quetz - which are basically the same minus the weathering of Hatz. It could be that Quetz is more robust in it's dp crest build, but we really can't tell. Martill et al. argue that Arambourgiana is distinct from Quetz, but the only character that can be sustained in this regard is the cervical pneumatic expansion, which can only be compared in Quetz sp. because northropi is known only from a wing. That character collapses when allometry is taken into account (relative pneumaticity does not scale isometrically; no surprises there), which oddly enough, seems not to have been mentioned by anyone else.

Upshot: we have three big azhdarchids that are very similar in size, and could be congeneric (or even the same species, to be honest - the geographic separations are meaningless for a flap-glider of that size), of which only Quetzalcoatlus has much material. Therefore, reconstructions of giant azhdarchs are still best done using Quetz.



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

On Aug 1, 2009, at 4:48 PM, Mike Taylor wrote:

2009/8/1 B tH <soylentgreenistrex@yahoo.com>:
Arambourginiana philadelphidae - material too scrappy to draw a conclusive picture?

I'll say.  The holotype is a single incomplete cervical vertebra.  For
a long time, even that was lost and there was only a plaster cast.
Then the holotype was found, but the middle section (of what was,
remember, already an incomplete element) was broken off and remains