Pterodactylus n15 reconstructed using digital graphic segregation (DGS)

The nearly perfect specimen
(plate and counter plate) of the  BSP AS V 29a/b specimen of Pterodactylus (n15 in the Wellnhofer 1970 catalog, Fig. 1) is today’s subject.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The plate and counter plate of the BSP AS V 29a/b specimen of Pterodactylus with color overlays of the bones and visible soft tissues.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The plate and counter plate of the BSP AS V 29a/b specimen of Pterodactylus (n15) with color overlays of the bones and visible soft tissues. Click to enlarge. Now, does not this method improve on just about all others as far as identifying and delineating the skeletal elements? 

DGS
Digital Graphic Segregation has been unfairly maligned by some workers, embraced by others. Here (Fig. 1) is a great example of bone tracing, not only the easy ones on top (left side elements), but also the more difficult ones below (right side elements).

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The plate and counter plate of  the BSP AS V 29a/b specimen of Pterodactylus with color overlays of the bones and visible soft tissues.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The plate and counter plate of the BSP AS V 29a/b specimen of Pterodactylus with color overlays of the bones and visible soft tissues. Click to enlarge.

This specimen appears to have a naris separated from the reduced antorbital fenestra by a stretch of soft tissue, (here colored green, like the maxilla).

Figure 3. Pterodactylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b, n15 in the Wellnhofer 1970 catalog torso.

Figure 3. Pterodactylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b, n15 in the Wellnhofer 1970 catalog torso. Yes, there’s a little sternal complex inside all those ribs and gastralia. I don’t see a fetus in this one. Click to enlarge.

 

Yesterday we looked at another specimen of Pterodactylus in which the dorsal and sacral vertebrae of the fetus were visible in ventral view. Those vertebrae looked like a series of tiny bow ties. In the n15 specimen the same pattern is visible due to crushing.

Figure 3. Colored elements of Pterodactylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b.

Figure 4. Colored elements of Pterodactylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b. I might not have gotten everything right, but this is more than one usually gets in a published tracing. 

This basic Pterodactylus
had been mistakenly reassigned to Aerodactylus by Vidovic and Martill 2014. Still not sure why considering it nests within Pterodactylus in the large pterosaur tree.

Figure 5. Pterodacatylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b reconstructed from DGS tracing (fig. 4).

Figure 5. Pterodacatylus specimen BSP AS V 29a/b reconstructed from DGS tracing (fig. 4). Quadrupedal or bipedal, pterosaurs could do it all. 

Considering the width of those gastralia
this pterosaur, like so many others, appears to have had a more flattened (wider) torso than traditionally reconstructed. Now, does not this method improve on just about all others as far as identifying and delineating the skeletal elements?

References
Meyer H 1860. Zur Fauna der Vorwelt: Reptilien aus dem lithographischen Schiefer des Jura in Deutschland und Frankreich. Frankfurt. 1–84.
Vidovic SU and Martill DM 2014. Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: The Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny. PLoS ONE 9(10): e110646. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110646

wiki/Pterodactylus

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