Reaching out

More pterosaurs, and this time a whole Pteranodon wing (and a few bits fo the shoulder too). Even without a scale bar you can get an impression of how large this is as it reaches across the entire cabinet and of course hence the split is the glass. Its about 2 m or so across and as such was from an animal or more like 4 m in wingspan.

Incidentally, pterosaur wingspans are generally calculated by simply doubling the length of one wing (humerus, ulna, wing metacarpal and the wing phalanges). This might sound like an underestimate (after all, the body is in there for starters), but in fact not. Since the arm is held somewhat crooked, and the wing finger was not held at 90 degrees to the torso, this accounts nicely for the lack of the chest. At the very least it’s quick and convenient and probably generally quite accurate, and of course it allows us to use isolated wings etc. to compare them to other, more complete, remains.

 


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