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The Flying Reptile Thread- Anything pterosaur related

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  • Nasty teeth on Jianchagnathus. Must have been a nippy little predator.




  • Flying predator with teeth, Nippy? That is a good play on words right there and worth the thread alone. :D:D




  • A new study by pterosaur specialist Mark Witton suggests that Istiodactylus (formerly known as Ornithodesmus and nicknamed the "duck-billed pterosaur") had a skull much shorter than previously believed, and several traits indicate that it may have been sort of a pterosaurian version of the vulture, feeding on dinosaur carcasses.

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0033170

    fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0033170.g007&representation=PNG_M

    fetchObject.action?uri=info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0033170.g004&representation=PNG_M




  • Why not, after all it is a niche that needed to be filled.

    Good spot Adam




  • Move over Coloborhynchus... it seems that Moganopterus, found in China, had the largest skull of any toothed pterosaur ever found- what is preserved is 95 cms long; its wingspan has been estimated at 5-7 meters. The jaws were extremely elongated, and the skull was 11.5 times as long as it was tall!

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1755-6724.2012.00658.x/abstract
    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRqki8NIUZ3ZOPSMjPXoqB_MxqYavtHqKw4VEI-ic_U70DSg4nAwA


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  • That is one weird looking skull!




  • Found in Las Hoyas, Spain, home of Concavenator and that diminutive lizard I posted about before.
    Europejara is the oldest tapejarid and the oldest toothless pterosaur, a record held previously by Eopteranodon. It may have been a fruit eater, as has been suggested for other tapejarids, but no gut content has confirmed this.




  • There seems to be an awful lot of cool stuff being discovered in Spain these days. It looks like Spain (one of our posters is over there now searching for fossils) and mexico are the two big hot spots these days.




  • Another great spot Adam.

    The sheer variety of ptero's we have now is boggling. They must have been as varied as birds are. I know next to nothing about them but I am quickly becoming an avid fan. And I do believe they were supposed to be better fliers than most birds are. Well not sure on better, but certainly covering a bigger size range. There was also something in one of the threads that they perhaps had a furry covering too?




  • It seems most if not all pterosaurs had at least some fur. Jeholopterus ningchengensis seems to be one of the hairier ones.
    http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=64179887


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  • Thanks for that link, not sure how I missed that first time around.

    It shows one thing above all else though. They were NOT flying dinosaurs.

    Dino's = feathers, Ptero's = fur.




  • Ah well, I don't think anyone has credibly argued that pterosaurs were dinosaurs in a very long time... Now there's an interesting one - were pterosaurs ever grouped among the dinosauria?
    First one back with a good answer get's a prize.
    I'm gonna bet it's Adam too.




  • I think it is (or has been ) mooted about that the idea for monsterous dragons came about from finding fossils. The creatures were indestructible unless stabbed somewhere soft (like an underbelly) because that is the supposedly softer part of a crocodile, and anything huge with bones of stone would be much tougher. The idea of flying dragons (or more accurately Wyverns ) stems from pterosaur fossils. And as they could obviously fly then the big dragons must also have been able to fly.

    So the idea of ptero's and Dino's being different kinds of creatures didn't come into being until after true scientific discovery and examination.

    (And if you believe all that I just typed out I can surely claim my prize :D )




  • Bonus credit! :D




  • Galvasean wrote: »
    Ah well, I don't think anyone has credibly argued that pterosaurs were dinosaurs in a very long time... Now there's an interesting one - were pterosaurs ever grouped among the dinosauria?
    First one back with a good answer get's a prize.
    I'm gonna bet it's Adam too.

    If I'm not mistaken, Robert Bakker used to say that pterosaurs (or pterodactyls as he prefers to call them) should be classified along with dinosaurs. I think he even said it in Dinosaur Heressies.
    In a way, Bakker's idea of what "dinosaurs" should be would be what we call today Ornithodira, including both dinosaurs and pterosaurs. :>

    As for pterosaur fuzz, it is said to be more closely "related" to dinosaur proto-feathers than to actual, mammal-like fur. That's another point in favor of the idea of the common ancestor of dinosaurs (and pterosaurs) having some sort of fuzz as well.
    The original hairy pterosaur was Sordes pilosus (hairy devil) found in Central Asia;

    mainimage1,31975,en.jpg




  • Haven't gotten my hands on a copy of Dinosaur Heresies since I was a kid. Don't remember that bit though. I wonder do DCU still have a copy in their library and how might I access it...




  • Older than Rhamphorhynchus and related to it, Bellubrunnus is known by a single fossilized skeleton- that of a baby. It still shows some peculiarities- like the tip of the wings that curved forwards giving it a very distinctive flight profile.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/blog/2012/jul/06/pterosaur-bellubrunnus-dinosaur-uv-light

    Fig_1.jpg

    Figure_2.jpg

    matt-vr.jpg




  • Looks a stubby fat little fella doesn't he? A bit like a prehistoric sparrow?

    by the way I followed the link and read the article. at the bottom of which I found this:

    http://pterosaur.net/index.php

    Seems a bit specialised but some of you my like it.




  • I like the forward pointing wings. :)


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  • Rubecula wrote: »
    Looks a stubby fat little fella doesn't he? A bit like a prehistoric sparrow?

    by the way I followed the link and read the article. at the bottom of which I found this:

    http://pterosaur.net/index.php

    Seems a bit specialised but some of you my like it.

    I thought everyone knew this site XD Beware of a site that has a very similar name (don´t remember exactly right now) but is written by either infamous David Peters or someone who shares his views, and has lots of misleading info.




  • This is the first confirmed azhdarchid from South America, although bits and fragments had already been tentatively identified as such.

    It had a wingspan of at least five meters.

    http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/02724634.2012.703979?journalCode=ujvp20

    aerotitainpmx1000.jpg




  • sudamericanus? I see what you mean about lazy location naming...




  • I'm somewhat confused... I mean, all the latest studies had suggested that these guys could take off with incredible easy from a standing point, and now suddenly we're back to the old "needs-a-cliff" idea? Wasn´t the habitat of these guys mostly flat, too? D:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107132103.htm#.UJrPTJl7-hc.twitter

    121107132103-large.jpg?1352315285




  • Reading toward the end of the article they reckon all it needed was a ten degree slant to take off. That's hardly a cliff...




  • Galvasean wrote: »
    Reading toward the end of the article they reckon all it needed was a ten degree slant to take off. That's hardly a cliff...

    Good point, but still, what ever happened to the vampire-bat-like Quetzalcoatlus that could take off from a standing point in a matter of seconds, as we had been told?




  • Adam Khor wrote: »
    Good point, but still, what ever happened to the vampire-bat-like Quetzalcoatlus that could take off from a standing point in a matter of seconds, as we had been told?

    Well, according to this the mechanics don't work for an animal as big as Quetzalcoatlus. I'm no mathematician so ca't really comment for or against that. It should be interesting to see this one get knocked back and forth among scientists.
    Personally, I can't see an animal like Quetzalcoatlus lasting very long in Cretaceous North America if it was cumbersome in take off. The place was crawling with tyrannosaurs!




  • Yeah that's my point, unless of course tyrannosaurs were scared of Quetzalcoatlus...

    Paul.jpg

    Still, even if we assume that Quetzalcoatlus was somehow able to defend itself while on the ground, what would stop a tyrannosaur from grabbing it while it attempts to take off?




  • Can't imagine even a very large Quetzalcoatlus would be anything close to a match for a tyrannosaur exceeding 30 feet. Escape would be its best option in such a scenario, but if takeoff was awkward it would have been doomed.
    Heck, even a pair of subadults could take one if it was having trouble finding a good take off spot.


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  • Galvasean wrote: »
    Well, according to this the mechanics don't work for an animal as big as Quetzalcoatlus. I'm no mathematician so ca't really comment for or against that. It should be interesting to see this one get knocked back and forth among scientists.
    Personally, I can't see an animal like Quetzalcoatlus lasting very long in Cretaceous North America if it was cumbersome in take off. The place was crawling with tyrannosaurs!

    According to mathematics a bumble bee can't fly, and nothing bigger than a swan can fly and ... and ....

    Basically we know these creatures existed and we know they flew, and we know they were fairly successful. We should not be looking at problems in their existence, but looking at why they were as successful as they were. Who knows they may have been hunting T Rex rather than the other way around. I tend to think they were more likely to be like vultures or condors. Possibly hunters but mostly scavengers.


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