Pycnofibers on Sharovipteryx – Another hairy lizard!

Yesterday we noted pterosaur-like pycnofibers (ptero-hairs) on Longsiquama. Here we find them also on Sharovipteryx (Figs. 1, 2), further cementing their relationship to pterosaurs like Sordes, Jeholopterus and others that preserve these extradermal hairs.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. Pycnofibers (extradermal tissues) on Sharovipteryx. Formerly such hair-like extradermal membranes were recognized only in pterosaurs. Now they are in found in more basal fenestrasaurs. Surely these were no ordinary lizards! Warm-blooded? You decide. On the right the fibers are more easily seen. On the left (bottom) these are less distinct.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. Pycnofibers (extradermal tissues) on Sharovipteryx. Formerly such hair-like extradermal membranes were recognized only in pterosaurs. Now they are in found in more basal fenestrasaurs. Surely these were no ordinary lizards! Warm-blooded? You decide. On the right the fibers are more easily seen. On the left (bottom) these are less distinct. They all criss-cross and seem “thick” to me, thicker than fur on mammals, for instance.

If these patterns were wrinkles in neck skin, they would not criss-cross as they do here. They are fiber-like or hair-like and as such may have functioned in thermoregulation, as did the extensive uropatagia behind each hind limb. More likely both were part of their elaborate displays and likely were brightly or contrasted in color and value.

Figure 2. Sharovipteryx mirabilis in various views. No pycnofibers added yet. Click to learn more.

Figure 2. Sharovipteryx mirabilis in various views. Click to learn more.

Start making Sharovipteryx hairy, guyz! It joins pterosaurs in being kinda fuzzy, especially around the neck.

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.

References
Sharov AG 1971
. New flying reptiles from the Mesozoic of Kazakhstan and Kirghizia. – Transactions of the Paleontological Institute, Akademia Nauk, USSR, Moscow, 130: 104–113 [in Russian].

wiki/Sharovipteryx

10 thoughts on “Pycnofibers on Sharovipteryx – Another hairy lizard!

  1. They may be impressions, as has been PREVIOUSLY described; but you are also identifying structures with a reticulated arrangement, running across one another and in opposite directions, which looks either like negative imprints of skin or might even be structurual fibres, as Theagarten Lingham-Soliar assumes for Sinosauropteryx (despite those structures being mostly parallel. Count your fibers by orientation, assess patterns by degree of orientation and map those to different layers. If you have a relatively even number running in each of two different directions, or even twice in just one, you probably have a dermal pattern, may reflect venation of soft-tissue, and not reflect extraintegumentary structures, fuzz or whatever.

  2. Look at my tracing. If you see anything resembling “snake skin” let me know. To me it looks like “bed head.” Filaments look like filaments. Skin is what you see between the filaments. Collagen? What does collagen look like? Why is this image so difficult to accept? What personal bias (paradigm) are you working from?

    • My God, Dave, you have a digital tool at your fingertips that allows you to do some quantitative analysis. Use it, do it, present it. When your own illustration suggests that on one side there are an array of structures slanting back from the head, look at the OTHER side where they slant TOWARDS the head, and all the ones that cross them are parallel to the vertebrae themselves, may correspond to nonintegumental structures, or otherwise.

      Moreover, this is merely what you can see — or what you’re willing to see, or what your resolution and eye can pick up.

      Actually analyze this stuff!

    • Collagen looks like filaments (its why there was some controversy over whether Sinosauropteryx was actually feathered or whether the feathers were collagen filaments) so there is a risk of mistaking it for hair. One useful way to check (most definately only preliminary, but a good start): are any of the filiments ouside the body outline? Obviously hairs protrude from the body. also check for connective tissue between the fibres; if there is any, then its collagen

  3. all true! Not sure why you’re arguing. Phylogenetic bracketing alone makes Sharovipteryx hairy/plumy since Cosesaurus is and Longisquama is. The dorsal plumes may still be in the matrix. Curious, about the slanting toward vs slanting away question. Are you seeing tips closer to the head than bases are?

    • Ok, one more time: “Exactly how did you determine “random” organization, and how are you differentiating filaments, collagen and skin impressions?”

      Interpretation comes AFTER analysis, not in lieu of it. You are arguing that simply “eyeballing” the tracing allows you to understand it, ignoring that you are “interpreting” a drawing you made. Given your history of producing questionable and in many cases outlandish and outright WRONG interpretations, the analysis of your tracings should be PARAMOUNT to you. You do not seem to understand this, and I have no idea if you ever will.

  4. Sorry for the late reply, Jaime. How do you interpret the data on the neck of Sharovipteryx, other than aspycnofibers? These are raised areas of long cones (base on one end, sharp tip on the other) that cross one another as hair does in living animals and as in pterosaurs that preserve pycnofibers. RE: Wrong interpretations, if you see any in the website or blog, there is an open invitation to provide data that will help correct them. I’m more than interested in doing so. If you’re referring to images that are not in the website or blog, then you need to get your head out of my wastebasket.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

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

Google photo

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

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter 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.