The wingtips of the pterosaurs: Anatomy, aeronautical function and ecological implications
431 - 439
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The leading edge and shape of the pterosaur wing is constrained by the skeleton. Although it has long been known that at least some pterosaurs had posteriorly curved distal wing phalanges, affecting the shape of the wingtip, this has been little studied despite that this may have profound effects on flight performance. Here we examine the evidence for curved wingtips in pterosaurs and evaluate the possible aerodynamic and aeronautical effects. Curved wingtips are shown to be common in both pterosaurs likely to have inhabited terrestrial environments, and those which were strongly pelagic. The recently described genus Bellubrunnus provides new anatomical novelty for pterosaurs having anteriorly directed wingtips and thus likely had a different flight profile to all previously known pterosaurs.
AuthorsHone, DWE; Van Rooijen, MK; Habib, MB
- Organismal Biology