www.solnhofen-fossilienatlas.de is a private project building a internet-data-base of the Fossils from Solnhofen with pictures and descriptions. Today we’ll look at their Pterodactylus #1359. The specimen is housed in a private collection, not Fossnet.
The first thing you’ll notice is all that soft tissue, especially the wing membranes and uropatagia. There’s even little strip of hard tissue at the trailing edge behind m4.2. Despite the preservation of the most fragile tissue, the humerus is practically gone, leaving only an impression.
DGS (colorized tracing) helps segregate one membrane from another, clarifying the apparent overlaps. This specimen leaves little doubt that the wing membrane was stretched between the elbow and wingtip. There is no membrane present leading toward the tibia, as in ALL other known pterosaurs and CONTRA Elgin, Hone and Frey (2008) and all similar traditions repeated by the current consensus represented academically by Witton, Unwin, Bennett, etc. Still waiting here for one wing membrane undeniably attached to one tibia. All prior candidates were dismissed here.
While some workers consider all Pterodactylus conspecific, those same workers have not reconstructed them, nor have they performed phylogenetic analyses to lump and split therm. Sometimes that’s all you have to do to understand the situation. But most pterosaur scientists do not take this very simple and basic step (Fig. 4).
So, yes, it’s a Pterodactylus.
But the species is not quite the same as any species previously described.
Elgin RA, Hone DWE, and Frey E. 2011.The extent of the pterosaur flight membrane. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56 (1), 2011: 99-111 doi:10.4202/app.2009.0145 online pdf