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Patagium attachment Was: Re: Pterosaur.net
Lately I'm seeing claims made like this, and this quotation from the
Pterosaur.net site has piqued my interest:
"The more basal, paraphyletic “ramphorhynchoids” had a broad uropatagium
that linked across the two hind limbs. By contrast, the pterodactyloids
had a uropatagium that was split, such that a roughly triangular
membrane ran along each hind limb [figure 3a]. The uropatagium would
have had several uses during flight."
This seems to imply that the uropatagium did not attach to the tail. I
am wondering where the evidence for this comes from. It seems that the
only specimen that could potentially be interpreted as having a free
tail is the Sordes pilosus holotype, however, there is a peculiar fold
down the centre of the patagium that could be interpreted as the region
on which the tail originally attached, and due to decay it fell off.
Also, I am interested in how the long bony struts in the final caudal
vertebra of Pteranodon is interpreted if the tail is unattached.
Additionally, what would be the aërodynamic implications of a free tail?