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Fossil Pterosaurs

Fossil Pterosaurs

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Fossil Pterosaurs

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  1. Fossil Pterosaurs An introduction to the order Pterosauria. The Pterosaur Database - July 2006 The Pterosaur Database

  2. What are pterosaurs • They are not dinosaurs…… • They are not birds…….. • Pterosaurs were an order to themselves, related to primitive dinosaurs. • They appeared in the Late Triassic Era and were around until the end of the Cretaceous Era. The Pterosaur Database

  3. Pteranodon is a well known pterosaur This large species was common world wide about 75 million years ago The Pterosaur Database

  4. In 1914, Hankin and Watson published a paper on the flight of pterosaurs. This work was based on the fossil remains of Pteranodon. Later, in 1974, Bramwell and Whitfield calculated the flight characteristics of this large species. This was followed by a radio controlled model to prove the calculations. Hankin E. H., & Watson D. M. S., 1914, On the flight of pterodactyls. Aeronautical Journal 18, 324–335.  The Pterosaur Database

  5. In 1985 the BBC featured a flying pterosaur designed and built by Stephen Winkworth. The broadcast was shown in January 1985 on the program “Pterodactylus lives”. The model flew on the Cliffs above the Dorset coast, England. Bramwell, C. D. & Whitfield, G. R. 1974 Biomechanics of Pteranodon. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, London, B.267, pp.503-581 The Pterosaur Database

  6. Pterosaur Research This has been happening since the first pterosaur fossil was discovered in 1784 by a famous Italian scientist called Cosimo Collini. At the Palace at Manheim, Germany in 1759, a fossil was found in a cupboard by Karl Theodor. He handed the fossil over to Collini to identify in 1764. This was found to be the first ever recorded find of a fossil Pteodactyle (wing-finger). Collini called the specimen Pterodactylus antiquus in his scientific paper. The Pterosaur Database

  7. Pterodactylus antiquus Collini, C A. 1784 Sur quelques Zoolithes du Cabinet d’Histoire naturelle de S. A. S. E. Palatine & de Bavière, à Mannheim. Acta Theodoro-Palatinae Mannheim 5 Pars Physica, pp. 58–103 (1 plate). The Pterosaur Database

  8. Classification • Pterosaurs are classified into two sub-orders. • Rhamphorhynchoidea with a long tail and a short wing metacarpal. • Pterodactyloidea with a short tail and a long wing metacarpal. Due to evolutionary convergence, the exact classification of pterosaurs will always be problematical. The Pterosaur Database

  9. The Rhamphorhynchoidea appear in the Late Triassic and continue well into the Upper Jurassic. These pterosaurs show continued development throughout, but generally have large teeth indicating carnivorous feeding habits. A few of the later and more advanced species show tail length reduction. The Pterosaur Database

  10. The Pterodactyloidea show advanced features from the Upper Jurassic, where they seem to occupy a wide range of ecological niches. At this time, diversity of form indicates a successful dominance of the air. In the Cretaceous, with the evolving bird species, the smaller pterosaurs seem unable to compete. However, larger species are still dominant, and very successful. All of the pterosaurs disappear at the end of the Cretaceous and no evidence is found after the KT boundary. The Pterosaur Database

  11. Classifying pterosaur bone fragments is an interesting pass time – It is not an easy task, but it is often the only way to analyze the species that existed between the spectacular finds. The Pterosaur Database