Today see the launch of an outstanding new website devoted entirely to pterosaurs, the flying reptiles of the Mesozoic. What makes the site different from many specialist sources on the internet is that it was created, written and designed by specialists in the field. As such, it should prove an invaluable resource. I’ll try and keep this brief, as I know you’re just desperate to go over there and start looking around…
Pterosaur.net had its genesis at the Munich pterosaur meeting in 2007 when Dave Hone, John Conway, Ross Elgin, Mike Habib, Luis Rey, Lorna Steel, Mark Witton and yours truly came up with the crazy scheme of creating a good, ‘everything you wanted to know about pterosaurs but were afraid to ask’ website. It took a bit longer than expected to go live (that’s because we’re lazy), but here we are (a few things are still incomplete).
Pterosaur.net includes a large number of articles on pterosaur ecology, anatomy, functional morphology and phylogeny, and there are also contributions on such things as the history of pterosaur portrayal in popular culture, and on myths and misconceptions. There’s also a genus guide (that is, a page with individual entries on each genus… though it’s not quite complete yet. There are about 85 recognised pterosaur genera as of right now). Picture galleries of fossils and artwork are included: the site is a visual feast, with lots of neat artwork by Conway, Witton and Rey [image above: a giant dead azhdarchid is scavenged by maniraptorans and a smaller azhdarchid. By Mark Witton]. So, enjoy, and spread the word [image below shows one of the first ever pterosaur reconstructions; see Taquet & Padian (2004)].
Incidentally, 2010 is gonna be HUGE for pterosaurs. I will say no more. Oh, and don’t forget to obtain a copy of the Zitteliana pterosaur special issue if you can.
For previous Tet Zoo articles on pterosaurs see…
- Dsungaripterid pterosaurs and the proliferation of Wittoniana
- The Wellnhofer pterosaur meeting, part I
- The Wellnhofer pterosaur meeting, part II
- The Wellnhofer pterosaur meeting, part III
- Crato Formation fossils and the new tapejarids
- Terrestrial stalking azhdarchids, the paper
- Pterosaurs breathed in bird-like fashion and had inflatable air sacs in their wings
- A month in dinosaurs (and pterosaurs): 4, flaplings and head-sails anew
- A month in dinosaurs (and pterosaurs): 5, pterosaurs vs birds, or not… or is it?
- Mark Witton’s secret: finally out
- Darwinopterus, the remarkable transitional pterosaur
Ref – –
Taquet, P. & Padian, K. 2004. The earliest known restoration of a pterosaur and the philosophical origins of Cuvier’s Ossemens Fossiles. C. R. Palevol 3, 157-175.