Most pterosaur fossils are incomplete, crushed and disarticulated. By contrast, Pterodactylus scolopaciceps BSP 1937 I 18 (Broili 1938, P. kochi n21 of Wellnhofer 1970, 1991, Fig. 1) is just the opposite, complete, uncrushed and articulated. Yesterday we looked at the presence of vestigial manual digit 5.
Today we’ll look at the wingtip unguals. Check out this image (Fig. 2) to see if you can find them first. They are no deeper than the distal joint of m4.4.
And here’s the color-coded interpretation of m4.4 and the ungual m4.5 for both wings.
Traditional paleontology reports the ungual is missing from the wingtip of pterosaurs. Here is evidence to the contrary. These images also document the lack of preparation around the wing ungual. We also saw a great little wing ungual on a Pterodactylus cast from a Dublin museum two days ago. So they’re often seen, not often uncovered when buried.
Tomorrow we’ll take another look at n21, a perfect Pterodactylus, focusing on the presence of a distinct naris.
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.
Broili F 1938. Beobachtungen an Pterodactylus. Sitz-Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaten, zu München, Mathematischen-naturalischenAbteilung: 139–154.
Wellnhofer P 1970. Die Pterodactyloidea (Pterosauria) der Oberjura-Plattenkalke Süddeutschlands. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, N.F., Munich 141: 1-133.