Pterosaur Fingers – Part 8, Germanodactylus to Nyctosaurus and Pteranodon

Earlier we looked at several clades of pterosaur finger morphologies. Today we’ll look at various Nyctosaurus and Pteranodon species and their precursors (Fig. 1).

Pterosaur fingers, Germanodactylus to Nyctosaurus and Pteranodon.

Figure 1. Pterosaur fingers, Germanodactylus to Nyctosaurus and Pteranodon. Click to enlarge.

Germanodactylus cristatus SMNK-PAL 6592 – Compare to the outgroup taxon Elanodactylus

No. 13 – Overall smaller, m3.3 was shorter and the unguals were sharper.

Aurorazhdarcho – The metacarpus was nearly twice as long and metacarpals 1-3 were more gracile. Manual 1.1 was half as long. Manual 3.2 was nearly the length of m3.3. The unguals were smaller.

Eoazhdarcho – Metacarpals 1-3did not reach the carpus. The digits were longer. The unguals were smaller.

Eopteranodon – Manual 2.2 was longer and m3.1 was shorter. The unguals were larger.

Muzquizopteryx – Compare to the outgroup taxon No. 13. The metacarpus was longer, though not as long as in the eopteranodontids. Metacarpals 1-3 did not reach the carpus. The proximal phalanges were longer. The unguals were shorter.

Nyctosaurus FMNH 25026 – Metacarpal 4 was longer. The digits were less than half the size.

Nyctosaurus FHSM VP 21 – Distal metacarpal 4 was reduced. The digits were smaller and more gracile.

Nyctosaurus UNSM 93000 – The digits were mere threads.

Nyctosaurus KJ1 – No digits are known.

Pteranodon FHSM VP 2183 – Compare to outgroup Germanodactylus cristatus SMNK-PAL 6592. The metacarpus was longer. The digits were shorter.

Pteranodon YPM 1175 – The digits were smaller. The unguals were shorter.

Pteranodon (Ptweety the immature private specimen) – The fingers and their unguals were much larger, as in the JZMP embryo (above), but not in the Pterodaustro or IVPP embryos.

Pteranodon NMC41-358 – Compared to outgroup FMNH 25026. The metatarsus and digits were more gracile. The unguals were more deeply hooked. Manual 2.2 was longer relative to m2.1.

Pteranodon UALVP 24238 – The metacarpus was more robust. The digits were smaller.

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