publication . Article . 2017

A Summary of Current Research on the Functional Morphology of Flight in Azhdarchid Pterosaurs

Klein, Amy; Anderson, Curt W;
Open Access English
  • Published: 14 Aug 2017 Journal: Advanced Journal of Graduate Research (issn: 2456-7108, eissn: 2456-7108, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: AIJR Publisher
Abstract
Azhdarchid pterosaurs existed during the Mesozoic era and died out during the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. These amazingly large creatures have sparked a debate on whether they were capable of flying or simply gliding due to their massive size, anatomy, and morphology. Two theories that have been developed are that these creatures were terrestrial stalkers and that they are closer to pelicans in terms of feeding capability. More specifically, Naish and Witton suggest that these giants were capable of covering large distances by soaring and could forage on land by walking quadrupedally using their long necks to reach down and kill small animals, ...

Darren; Naish, “Were azhdarchid pterosaurs really terrestrial stalkers? The evidence says yes, yes they (probably) were,” Blog Post, 15-Dec-2013. [Online]. Available: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/were-azhdarchid-pterosaurs-reallyterrestrial-stalkers-the-evidence-says-yes-yes-they-probably-were/. [Accessed: 13-Aug-2017].

M. P. Witton, D. Naish, H. Otsuka, D. Unwin, and L. Maas, “A Reappraisal of Azhdarchid Pterosaur Functional Morphology and Paleoecology,” PLoS One, vol. 3, no. 5, p. e2271, May 2008. [OpenAIRE]

M. Witton and D. Naish, “Azhdarchid pterosaurs: water-trawling pelican mimics or 'terrestrial stalkers'?,” Acta Palaeontol. Pol., vol 60, no 3, pp 651-660, 2015. [OpenAIRE]

A. O. Averianov, “Reconstruction of the neck of Azhdarcho lancicollis and lifestyle of azhdarchids (Pterosauria, Azhdarchidae),” Paleontol. J., vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 203-209, Mar. 2013.

L. A. Nessov, “Giant flying reptiles of the family Azhdarchidae. I. Morphology, systematics,” Vestn. Leningr. Univ., vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 14-23, 1991.

Witton and Naish, “Figure 1,” 2013. [Online]. Available: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vUuWFwLDf8/Um7IKqMXqvI/AAAAAAAAA5A/IkUVjEi82s8/s1600/Witton+and+Naish+2013+Fig.+1.jpg. [Accessed: 13-Aug2017].

M. Habib, “Constraining the Air Giants: Limits on Size in Flying Animals as an Example of Constraint-Based Biomechanical Theories of Form,” Biol. Theory, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 245-252, Sep. 2013.

Abstract
Azhdarchid pterosaurs existed during the Mesozoic era and died out during the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous. These amazingly large creatures have sparked a debate on whether they were capable of flying or simply gliding due to their massive size, anatomy, and morphology. Two theories that have been developed are that these creatures were terrestrial stalkers and that they are closer to pelicans in terms of feeding capability. More specifically, Naish and Witton suggest that these giants were capable of covering large distances by soaring and could forage on land by walking quadrupedally using their long necks to reach down and kill small animals, ...

Darren; Naish, “Were azhdarchid pterosaurs really terrestrial stalkers? The evidence says yes, yes they (probably) were,” Blog Post, 15-Dec-2013. [Online]. Available: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/tetrapod-zoology/were-azhdarchid-pterosaurs-reallyterrestrial-stalkers-the-evidence-says-yes-yes-they-probably-were/. [Accessed: 13-Aug-2017].

M. P. Witton, D. Naish, H. Otsuka, D. Unwin, and L. Maas, “A Reappraisal of Azhdarchid Pterosaur Functional Morphology and Paleoecology,” PLoS One, vol. 3, no. 5, p. e2271, May 2008. [OpenAIRE]

M. Witton and D. Naish, “Azhdarchid pterosaurs: water-trawling pelican mimics or 'terrestrial stalkers'?,” Acta Palaeontol. Pol., vol 60, no 3, pp 651-660, 2015. [OpenAIRE]

A. O. Averianov, “Reconstruction of the neck of Azhdarcho lancicollis and lifestyle of azhdarchids (Pterosauria, Azhdarchidae),” Paleontol. J., vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 203-209, Mar. 2013.

L. A. Nessov, “Giant flying reptiles of the family Azhdarchidae. I. Morphology, systematics,” Vestn. Leningr. Univ., vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 14-23, 1991.

Witton and Naish, “Figure 1,” 2013. [Online]. Available: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vUuWFwLDf8/Um7IKqMXqvI/AAAAAAAAA5A/IkUVjEi82s8/s1600/Witton+and+Naish+2013+Fig.+1.jpg. [Accessed: 13-Aug2017].

M. Habib, “Constraining the Air Giants: Limits on Size in Flying Animals as an Example of Constraint-Based Biomechanical Theories of Form,” Biol. Theory, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 245-252, Sep. 2013.

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