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RE: Pterosaur.net



Mark Witton wrote-

> I must admit, I did want to make each article fully referenced, but other 
> members of the team thought it may make the site 
> look less approachable, so they were voted out. There is, I suppose, still 
> scope to put them in, however.
>
> As for a material list, I'm going out on a limb to say that this almost 
> certainly won't happen. This is not because I think 
> it's a bad idea, but because, as anyone who's ever tried to compile such a 
> list will know, it would be a huge undertaking and> I really doubt that any 
> Pterosaur.net contributor has the time to do it. Besides, my interpretation 
> of the Pterosaur.net idea> (and my colleagues can correct me if I'm wrong) 
> was that we were making an approachable and relatively non-technical website 
> that would appeal to layfolk as much as experts and, accordingly, such a list 
> may seem out of place amidst the more relaxed 
> attitude across the rest of the site. I could, of course, be totally wrong 
> and one of the team may decide they're more than up> for the challenge, but 
> given how long it took us to assemble what you can currently see at 
> Pterosaur.net, I wouldn't hold your> breath. There may be scope for more 
> detailed discussions of taxonomy and the diagnoses of different groups, 
> however: we are 
> quite light on such topics at the moment. Watch this, or rather that, space, 
> I suppose.

That's such a shame.  As an interested amateur, there are many pterosaur topics 
I'd love to read about.  What characters suggest Preondactylus is the basalmost 
pterosaur in some taxonomies vs. dimorphodontids/anurognathids in others.  What 
all the specimens are that influence where the wing is thought to connect to 
the body/leg and why each author thought differently about them.  What the 
differences are between Azhdarcho and Quetzelcoatlus.  What the arguments are 
for separating vs. synonymizing Caviramus and Rhaeticodactylus.  Details about 
obscure taxa like Aidachar, Bogolubovia, Doratorhynchus, Odontorhynchus or 
Sultanuvaisia.  Why Padian's ideas for bipedal pterosaurs seem not to be 
accepted anymore.  Just what is the modern opinion on all the obscure 
Pterodactylus species (P. ornis, gracilis, manselii, arningi, etc.) besides 
"nomen dubium"?  I have some of the necessary references for these questions, 
but lack the expertise and time to go wading through them and develop educated 
opinions.  So it would have been great to have a site where pterosaur experts 
address them in one convenient place, with references so that I could check 
with the literature if I had any questions or concerns.  As it is, the site is 
gorgeous and a nice reference for kids, but has very little actual information 
for the adult amateur, let alone experts.  And if there was a piece of new 
information there, without references I wouldn't know if it's backed up in the 
literature where I could potentially go for more data, if it's something one of 
the authors has observed that hasn't been published yet, or if it's just 
internet gossip.  I hope these criticisms are taken as constructive, not just 
complaints.  The site has a lot of potential.  With enough work, it could 
become the online equivalent of Wellnhofer's or Glut's (2006) encyclopedia.
 
Mickey Mortimer
The Theropod Database- http://home.comcast.net/~eoraptor/Home.html