Wikipedia ignoring published literature

I’ve had the honor and privilege
of having several of my manuscripts and figures published in academic journals. But when the authors of Wikipedia wish to describe pterosaurs or the various fenestrasaurs like Cosesaurus and Sharovipteryx all references to my work are deleted or ignored. Worse yet, when it comes to Longisquama, I and my work are described as’ idiosyncratic’ and “strongly denounced.” Such attacks are not found on the pages of other prehistoric reptiles and they don’t belong on the pages of Wikipedia.

Figure 1. Scene from "It's a wonderful life" directed by Frank Capra in which Clarence tells Jimmy Stewart, "You never were born." When the authors of Wikipedia ignore published literature on pterosaurs and fenestrasaurs, this is what they are trying to do.

Figure 1. Scene from “It’s a wonderful life” directed by Frank Capra in which Clarence tells Jimmy Stewart, “You never were born.” When the authors of Wikipedia ignore published literature on pterosaurs and fenestrasaurs, this is what they are trying to do. Click to view a few minutes from this movie.

So, it’s not enough
to view the fossils first-hand, pass peer-review and enter the literature. Evidently some observations, findings and workers are to be shunned, maligned and marginalized. It’s not the first time this has happened in the history of Science. And it probably won’t be the last.

I recently added
my work on pteroid origin and articulation (Peters 2009) to the Wikipedia page on pterosaurs. Let’s see how long it stays up. In the literature these observations and hypotheses have not yet been falsified or questioned, but confirmed.

References
Peters D 2009. A reinterpretation of pteroid articulation in pterosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29:1327-1330.

 

Darwinopterus carpus and another 5th manual digit

I appreciate it when authors provide close-ups of the pterosaur carpus. It gives me a chance to once again document the near universal presence of a vestigial manual digit 5 and other ptero traits missed by other workers.

Figure 1. The carpus of Darwinopterus linglongtaenis. Vesitigial digit 5 is scattered on metatarsal 4. The pteroid articulates in the saddle of the radiale. The preaxial carpal articulates on the first distal carpal now fused to the other distal carpals in a syncopal.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. The carpus of Darwinopterus linglongtaenis. Vesitigial digit 5 is scattered on metatarsal 4. The pteroid articulates in the saddle of the radiale. The preaxial carpal articulates on the first distal carpal now fused to the other distal carpals in a syncopal.

Here digit 5 is scattered, but all the elements are there. In red: distal carpal 5. In green: metacarpal 5. In blue: two proximal phalanges. In amber: a sharp ungual. This matches the pattern seen in basal fenestrasaurs in which manual digit 5 is not a vestige.

Note the pteroid is located in the saddle of the radiale (Peters 2009) and disconnected from the preaxial carpal (both former centralia, having migrated to the medial wrist, convergent with the mammalian prepollex).

References
Peters D 2009. A reinterpretation of pteroid articulation in pterosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29:1327-1330.
Wang X, Kellner AWA, Jiang S-X, Cheng X, Meng Xi and Rodrigues T 2010
. New long-tailed pterosaurs (Wukongopteridae) from western Liaoning, China. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências 82 (4): 1045–1062. pdf online

wiki/Kunpengopterus

SVP abstracts: Pteroid Articulation

Confirmation of Peters (2009)
Kellner et al. (2012) confirm that the pteroid was articulated to the radiale (fused to the ulnare to create the proximal syncarpal) in a well articulated wing skeleton of a South American pterosaur. From their abstract, “New exquisitely preserved specimens from the Romualdo Formation (Albian) of Brazil can settle this question. Some show a distinct articulation surface on the dorsal region of the proximal syncarpal, close to the articular facet for the radius. This feature is observed in both anhanguerids and tapejarids and is the strongest candidate for the articulation of the pteroid. Among the most interesting material is a specimen that represents the almost complete wings of an anhanguerid individual and possesses the pteroid directly in articulation with the proximal syncarpal. As the proximal carpals are fused into a proximal syncarpal in osteologically mature specimens, this position constrains the pteroid to a more medial orientation regarding the edge of the wing, avoiding subjecting this bone to heavy loads if it would have been projected anteriorly.”

You can see the evolution and migration of the pteroid here, here and here.

Nice to get confirmation/vindication. That’s encouraging. Now let’s get on the other topics and make similar tests!

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.

References
Kellner AW, Costa FR, and Rodrigues T. 2012. New Evidence on the pteroid articulation and orientation in pterosaurs. Abstracts, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Peters D 2009. A reinterpretation of pteroid articulation in pterosaurs. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 29: 1327-1330.