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Pterosaur pelvis evolution



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


New advance paper in Acta Palaeontologica Polonica:

Elaine S. Hyder, Mark P. Witton, and David M. Martill (2012)
Evolution of the pterosaur pelvis.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (in press)
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.4202/app.2011.1109
http://app.pan.pl/article/item/app20111109.html




Pterosaur pelvic girdles are complex structures that offer a wealth of
phylogenetic and biomechanical information, but have been largely
overlooked by pterosaur anatomists. Here, we review pterosaur pelvic
morphology and find significant differences that correlate well with
pterosaur clades identified in some phylogenetic analyses. We find
that the length and orientation of the iliac processes, position of
the acetabulum, extent of the ischiopubic plate and presence of
supraneural fusion in adult individuals are taxonomically informative.
Ontogenetic changes in pelvic morphology dictate that osteologically
mature specimens are required to assess the development of many of
these characteristics. We suggest that pelvic characters can readily
be incorporated into pterosaur phylogenetic analyses and may assist in
resolving the controversial interrelationships of this group.
Distinctive pterosaur pelvic morphotypes suggest considerable
differences in stance, locomotory kinematics and hindlimb
functionality across the group.