Pterosaur Fingers – Part 3, Dorygnathus to Azhdarchids

Earlier we looked at dimorphodontid and basal eudimorphodontid hands. Today we’ll take a look at the clade that begins with the Donau specimen of Dorygnathus and ends with Quetzalcoatlus.

Dorygnathus to azhdarchid hands.

Figure 1. Dorygnathus to azhdarchid hands. Not to scale. Click to enlarge. Red arcs indicate ungual rotation to display it better. Gray arrow indicates second lineage.

Dorygnathus, the Donau Specimen – compare to the outgroup taxon, Sordes. The manus was overall more gracile with a relatively shorter m3.2 and m2.1.

Dorygnathus, SMNS 51827 – had a relatively shorter metacarpus. Metcarpal 2 was as long as mc 3 and mc 4.

Dorygnathus, the SMNS 50164 – had an even shorter metacarpus and more robust fingers. Manual 3.1 was longer than m3.3.

Pterodactylus? spectabilis, TM 10341, no. 1 in the Wellnhofer (1970) catalog – The metacarpus was no longer than in the Donau specimen. Manual 2.2 was relatively longer. The drastic reduction in the tail places this taxon in the pterodactyloid-grade, but the metacarpus was not elongated.

Beipiaopterus – The metacarpus was twice as long. Manual 3.1 was relatively longer and m2.1 was shorter.

CM 11426, no. 44 in the Wellnhofer (1970) catalog – The metacarpus was nearly twice as long and the fingers were less than half as long. Manual 2.1 was not shorter than m2.2.

BSPG 1911 I 31, no. 42 in the Wellnhofer 1970 catalog – The fingers were longer with m3.3 not longer than m3.2.

Huanhepterus – The metacarpus was relatively shorter. The fingers are unknown.

Sos 2428 – Similar to Huanhepterus in the metacarpus and similar to n42 in the fingers with a slighly longer m3.3.

Microtuban – Metacarpals were all subequal. Manual 3.1 was shorter than m2.1. Manual 3.2 was no longer than wide. The penultimate phalanges were shorter.

Jidapterus – The metacarpus was more robust. Manual 3.3 was longer. Manual 2.1 was longer.

Chaoyangopterus – Metacarpal 1 was slightly shorter than the others. The manus was more gracile. Manual 1.1 was longer.

Zhejiangopterus – Metacarpals were all subequal. Manual digits 2 and 3 were similar in length. Manual 1.1, 2.1 and 3.1 were subequal. Manual 3.3 was the shortest phalanx.

Quetzalcoatlus – Metacarpal 1 was perhaps slightly shorter. The digits are largely unknown but are reconstructed here based on Haenamichnus ichnites.

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.