Is this a wing ungual? Rhamphorhynchus phyllurus

This could be a wing tip ungual on Rhamphorhynchus phyllurus

Figure 1. This could be a wing tip ungual on Rhamphorhynchus phyllurus, the famous soft tissue Rhamph in the Yale collection, YPM VP 001778. Unfortunately further picking at the matrix is prohibited. Thanks to William Gearty and Dan Brinkman at Yale for this photo. If anyone out there wants to send in similar pictures of wingtips in their collections, with and without unguals, please send them to

With its tip still buried, this possible intact wing ungual from Rhamphorhynchus phyllurus YPM VP 001778 remains an intriguing artifact that could solve an age old question. Unfortunately, further excavation of the last few grains of matrix over the possible tip have been prohibited. So, is this enough evidence for an ungual? Or is this something else?

Sans the ungual, this wing tip, like so many others, bears a trochlear joint. Obviously there’s no reason for a trochlear joint unless there’s just one more bone distal to it.

Sorry for the short post. It’s been a busy week.

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