A closer look at the Pterorhynchus wing tip

Pterorhynchus wellnhoferi (Czerkas and Ji 2002) Callovian, Middle Jurassic ~165mya, was the first wukongopterid/darwinopterid to be described. Originally it was famous for its soft rostral crest and later for its chin fuzz.

It also has a pretty nice wing tip ungual (Fig. 1) on its broken wing tip. According to most pterosaur experts, that ungual is not supposed to be there.

Figure 1. Several views of the Pterorhynchus wingtip. The ungual (manual4.5) has been colored magenta. Manual 4.4 is broken.

Figure 1. Several views of the Pterorhynchus wingtip. The ungual (manual4.5) has been colored magenta. Manual 4.4 (green) is broken.

And I noticed something odd
in the lower abdomen. I can’t make out what it is, I’ll let you guess. It could be food. It could be a developing embryo and eggshell. It could be detritus.

Figure 2. Pterorhynchus torso under UV light. There is an unexpected ellipse in the lower abdomen.

Figure 2. Pterorhynchus torso under UV light. There is an unexpected ellipse in the lower abdomen. Only the fan of the perforated prepubis appears here, on top of the ischium + pubis. 3 frames, each 5 seconds. Click to enlarge. 

References
Czerkas SA and Ji Q 2002. A new rhamphorhynchoid with a headcrest and complex integumentary structures. In: Czerkas SJ ed. Feathered Dinosaurs and the Origin of Flight. The Dinosaur Museum:Blanding, Utah, 15-41. ISBN 1-93207-501-1.
Lü J, Unwin DM, Jin X, Liu Y and Ji Q 2009. Evidence for modular evolution in a long-tailed pterosaur with a pterodactyloid skull. Proceedings of the Royal Society London B (DOI 10.1098/rspb.2009.1603.)
Lü J, Xu L, Chang H and Zhang X 2011b. A new darwinopterid pterosaur from the Middle Jurassic of Western Liaoning, northeastern China and its ecological implicaitions. Acta Geologica Sinica 85: 507-514.
Zhou C-F and Schoch RR 2011. New material of the non-pterodactyloid pterosaur Changchengopterus pani LÜ, 2009 from the Late Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of western Liaoning. N. Jb. Geol. Paläont. Abh. 260/3, 265–275 published online March 2011.

wiki/Darwinopterus
wiki/Pterorhynchus
Czerkas/Pterorhynchus

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4 thoughts on “A closer look at the Pterorhynchus wing tip

  1. He sees it…I see it…you don’t. What do we make of that? David seems to have more perspicacity and knowledge regarding fossils than either of us, IMO. Saying “no” because it is David making the claim shames you and it shames science.

  2. Science needs observations. I see something you don’t. I may be wrong. I disagree with David on a lot of things; I do not agree/disagree simply because of who it is. If you make a correct observation AFAICS, I am obligated to agree. If David makes a bad observation, AFAICS, I am obligated to disagree. If David is to be disqualified because he is a graphic designer, then Wegener’s theories on geology must be wrong because he was a map maker. Alverez must be wrong because he was not a paleontologist. Need I go further? MANY paleontologists have made HUGE mistakes; Cope for example, Osborn for another…are they disqualified because they made mistakes? If you think so, then you disqualify the entire field. Sorry to inform you; I do NOT disqualify the thinkers who have made mistakes. Science was not started by degreed academicians.

    IF David makes a thousand BAD observations and makes fifty GOOD observations, the bad AND good will be paid attention to. I proffer the same privileges to ALL workers, you included. I will not condemn David on your word, or anyone else’s word. I will not condemn you on David’s word.

    THINK about it.

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