And yet, when you look at them, Cycnorhamphus has the classic (traditional, false) skull traits that mark it as a juvenile of Moganopterus (Fig. 1, shorter skull, smaller crest and larger eyes, and at 1/5 the size, Cycnorhampus would be just 1.33x larger than a Moganopterus hatchling at 1/8 the size).
So, what’s my point?
Many are the pterosaur workers
who think tiny pterosaurs (Fig. 1) are mere juveniles, unworthy of inclusion in phylogenetic analyses. They think (without phylogenetic analysis) that baby pterosaurs had a shorter rostrum and larger eyes, which we falsified earlier several times. (In the same vein the experts should also discount small shrews, rodents and tiny ‘cute’ primates as equally unworthy to be included in mammal analyses.) My point is: size bigotry has been applied across the spectrum of pterosaurs.
Large pterosaurs with long crests evolve from smaller pterosaurs with shorter crests or no crests. That’s the way evolution works. But that fact seems to be lost on pterosaur workers who ignore tiny pterosaurs in phylogenetic analyses.
By the way, Feilongus and Moganopterus are listed in Wikipedia and referenced in Witton (2013) as boreopterid ornithocheirids. Jaime Headden has a word to say too. Even though Feilongus and Moganopterus are known only from skulls, when forced to nest with boreopterids, the shift adds 20 steps to the MPT in the large pterosaur tree. Adding these two to Gegepterus among the ctenochasmatids adds 27 stesp. In the large pterosaur tree, cycnorhamphids are the sisters to ornithocheirids (which include boreopterids), so these mistake are easy to make.
Long eggs are predicted for Moganopterus
Since Pterodaustro demonstrates that long rostrum taxa produce long eggs to house long rostra, it’s easy to predict that the eggs of Moganopterus will likely be long ones, as predicted here for Quetzalcoatlus.
Lü J-C, Pu H-Y, Xu i, WuY-H and Wei X-F 2012. Largest Toothed Pterosaur Skull from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Western Liaoning, China, with Comments On the Family Boreopteridae. Acta Geologica Sinica 86 (2): 287-293.
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