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RE: Biggest toothed pterosaur?

  I normally don't comment on papers not published, as in this one, but two 
things struck me:

  What is with enormously long titles in papers from England? Maybe I'm a 
little used to titles of papers that don't presume the contents of their 
(available) abstracts, but this title could easily have been cut to "The 
world's largest toothed pterosaur," which is a presumably ostentatious and 
attention-getting title on its own.

  The authors condense (for consideration) all the "genera" that have been 
raised for various taxa, including *Siroccopteryx* (for *moroccanus*) and 
*Uktenodactylus* (for *wadleighi*), into *Coloborhynchus*, but note this is 
pending a more in-depth investigation. I do not understand why it is necessary 
to squeeze these taxa into a single "generic" container, as it doesn't 
_actually_ reduce the complexity of discussion, but merely hides it. An all 
species discussion has no difference were some of them also contained by 
different, additional taxa. The concern, here, is the continued illusion that 
"genus" means something outside of typical systematics, which is the 
"traditional" and "old school" philosophy of systematics. with the discussion 
of the value of this method in the paper being left out in lieu of an 
additional paper, the "lumping" involved seems superfluous and adds to the 
discussion unnecessary concerns for terminology (or why, precisely, the authors 
chose to ignore discussions of what others (e.g.., authors of *Uktenodactylus*) 
had to say on the subject).


  Jaime A. Headden
  The Bite Stuff (site v2)

"Innocent, unbiased observation is a myth." --- P.B. Medawar (1969)

"Ever since man first left his cave and met a stranger with a
different language and a new way of looking at things, the human race
has had a dream: to kill him, so we don't have to learn his language or
his new way of looking at things." --- Zapp Brannigan (Beast With a Billion 

> Date: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 11:44:07 -0400
> From: bh480@scn.org
> To: dinosaur@usc.edu
> Subject: Biggest toothed pterosaur?
> From: Ben Creisler
> bh480@scn.org
> A new online paper:
> David M. Martill and David M. Unwin (2011)
> The world's largest toothed pterosaur, NHMUK R481, an incomplete rostrum of
> Coloborhynchus capito (Seeley 1870) from the Cambridge Greensand of England.
> Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
> doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.09.003
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566711100125X
> The assignment of a fragment of the anterior tip of a pterosaur rostrum
> from the Cenomanian Cambridge Greensand of eastern England to the
> ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus capito (Seeley, 1870) is confirmed. The
> fragment represents partial left and right fused premaxillae and retains
> broken teeth within alveoli. A width across the palate of 56 mm, a height
> at the anterior rostrum in excess of 95 mm and a tooth with a diameter of
> 13 mm at the base of the crown indicates a remarkably large individual,
> tentatively estimated to have had a skull length in excess of 0.75 m and a
> wing span of up to 7 m. This fragment represents the largest toothed
> pterosaur yet reported. This find, and several other large postcranial
> fragments from the Cambridge Greensand, suggest that ornithocheirids,
> toothed ornithocheiroids known from the earliest Early to early Late
> Cretaceous (Valanginian–Cenomanian) achieved very large, but not giant
> size. Pteranodontids, edentulous ornithocheiroids currently known only from
> the mid Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian–early Campanian), reached similar
> dimensions (up to 7.25 m in wing span) but, contrary to popular myth, did
> not attain the giant sizes (wing spans of 10 m or more) achieved by
> azhdarchids in the late Late Cretaceous (Campanian–Maastrichtian).
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