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Re: 2 questions: "horizon" in anatomy, and the absurd Nyctosaurus

On Nov 23, 2013, at 3:38 PM, Hammer <hammeris1@att.net> wrote:

> Secondly - Nyctosaurus's skull.
> Come on! It just can't be!
> I know, I know, the fossils don't lie.
> Has it been decided how this illogically out-of-proportion "deer antler"
> sticking out the back of the head functioned?  Sail or not?  Feathery
> or not?  Tapejara is within the realm of reality - but this animal
> looks completely wild to me!

The Nyctosaurus crest does not preserve any evidence of a sail or fibrous 
integument. Bone pterosaur crests that had soft tissue extensions tend to 
preserve a roughened texture associated with the vasculature and anchoring of 
the soft tissue components. The Nyctosaurus crest, lacking such features, 
presumably was just a set of prongs. It would not have functioned as a sail or 
other locomotion related structure. It could have been a sexually selected 


Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Cell and Neurobiology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
Bishop Research Building; Room 403
1333 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles 90089-9112

Research Associate, Dinosaur Institute
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

(443) 280-0181