Misinformation on the palate of Kunpengopterus

Cheng et al. 2017 present
a new complete but slightly damaged specimen of Kunpengopterus, IVPP V 23674.

The new Kunpegnopterus IVPP V 23674.

The new Kunpegnopterus IVPP V 23674.

Cheng et al. provided a new palate reconstruction
that could use a little DGS to better inform the reader and the the authors (Fig. 2, 3). Cheng et al. think they have found some new medial projections toward the back of the palate. Actually they are looking at broken off lateral pieces of the ecto-palatine (ectopterygoid fused to palatine).

Fig. 2. The skull of IVPP V 23674 colorized using DGS alongside the original description.

Fig. 2. The skull of IVPP V 23674 colorized using DGS alongside the original description.

And
here’s a closeup of the palate in dorsal view (Fig. 3). They relied on Wellnhofer 1978 for palate identification. That was when the anterior palate was considered the palatine as it seems to be here, but perhaps fused to the maxilla??. That must be the revision shown here based on Kellner 2013, which I have not read. Ever since Peters 2000, by comparison with Macrocnemus (acknowledged in Kellner 2013), and later by Osi et al. 2010, looking at Dorygnathus, the entire pterosaur palatal plate has been considered the maxilla, as it is here using colors (Fig. 3).

Fig. 3 Kunpengopterus IVPP V 23674 palate in dorsal view alongside original interpretation. Watch out for those broken bones. They sometimes end up in places a wee bit from their origins.

Fig. 3 Kunpengopterus IVPP V 23674 palate in dorsal view alongside original interpretation. Watch out for those broken bones. They sometimes end up in places a wee bit from their origins. And don’t you just hate 1 point lines telling you where the bones are? Colors are much more informative!

It’s really tough
when the broken bone appears to follow the contours of the unbroken bones, as they do here (Fig. 3). That’s where it helps to know the pattern of the palate in ALL pterosaurs. So exceptions like this can be reexamined, looking for the cracks that should not be there.

In similar fashion, here’s a pelvis
(Fig. 4) from the same specimen that appeared to Cheng et al to have a really deep pubis when the reality is more mundane.

Figure 4 Kunpengopterus pelvis with DGS colors identifying the anterior ilium detached from the posterior ilium and the false deep pubis.

Figure 4 Kunpengopterus pelvis with DGS colors identifying the anterior ilium detached from the posterior ilium and the false deep pubis. Note the original drawing in figure 1 that extends the pubis too deep by incorporating the inverted prepubis that match the contours of the ischium. 

References
Cheng X, Jiang S-X, Wang X-L, Kellner AWA 2017. New anatomical information of the wukongopterid Kunpengopterus sinensis Wang et al., 2010 based on a new specimen. PeerJ 5:e4102; DOI 10.7717/peerj.4102
Peters D 2000. A Redescription of Four Prolacertiform Genera and Implications for Pterosaur Phylogenesis. Rivista Italiana di Paleontologia e Stratigrafia 106 (3): 293–336.
Osi A, Prondvai E, Frey E and Pohl B 2010. New Interpretation of the Palate of Pterosaurs. The Anatomical Record 293: 243-258.

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