The London pterosaur invasion, sneak-peek

Darren is away. Back soon. Here are sneak-peeks...


The amazing freaky beast that's getting all the attention, that everyone gawps at in amazement (drumroll)...

... stands at centre-left in a white shirt. Yay, it's Witton's World of Pterosaurs. Photo above stolen from Benjamin Moon.


Dave Martill hard at work.


"Hey, it's Dave Hone, of Archosaur Musings!""Hey, it's Darren Naish, of Tet Zoo!".

Much more to come very soon...

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In the previous article I discussed the outside section of the Royal Society Summer Science Exhibition's pterosaur display (hosted at Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank). The exhibition (which finished on July 4th, sorry) incorporated three flying, life-sized azhdarchids - suspended from…

Okay, question time.

Based on Wellnhoffer's research, I'd thought that pterosaurs, no matter their color or creed, simply couldn't get their femora into a straight-down position. Certainly, in Anhanguera's case, the femur head is directed at quite an angle to the shaft, and too much downward rotation of the femur would have caused it to disarticulate!

I of course trust Mark's reconstructions, but I am wondering where the "sort of sprawling hindlimbs" line is drawn in the Pterodactyloidea.

By Zach Miller (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

For those who can't get there... Dave Hone (of Archosaur Musings) has posted a number of close-up photos at... Archosaur Musings.

By Allen Hazen (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

Saw THE Pterosaurs today.... WOWWW!! No more dull Art Galleries for ME!!
Their bones are so sophisticated. I'd love to know how far they pushed the boundaries of flight, say with comparatives to known ratios: power/weight, relative wing cross section control, chord to length and similar useful comparables. Difficult with their wing shape obviously, but even a general idea of magnitude to make a basic comparison possible with more familiar flight solutions, would be fascinating.
Thanks to the guys on the stall.. very knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
Perhaps I might have to look more at Pterosaurs.....

By Rhoops Achilleus (not verified) on 01 Jul 2010 #permalink

I ... am ... sooo ... envious of you guys who are able to see Mark's pet pterosaurs. Aaaaaargh!

By Mike from Ottawa (not verified) on 02 Jul 2010 #permalink

Awe man, I am so bummed I'm not going to be able to see this exhibit for real. I am actually going to London at the begining of August. If only this was made a month later!!!

have fun while away, and stay safe, sir.

and yet again, you provide photographic proof that you hang out with great people. (and a nice pterosaur)

By Anthony Docimo (not verified) on 03 Jul 2010 #permalink

Was great to meet you today Darren, and see the pterosaurs in the pseudo-flesh. (I was the guy with the fishy T-shirt and the big hair who asked you about their take-off technique)I didn't realise there were so many exhibitions there, all set up by very talented enthusiasts. A Great day out was had by all!

It's fun to imagine extinct animals as they were in life, but I confess that pterosaurs break my imagination. They still seem impossibly weird. How could something as big as a giraffe get airborne? From a four-legged gallop, no less! I curse the extinction event that divides us from these amazing creatures. Fie!

By CS Shelton (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink

Thanks all for your comments. The event was great fun and we all spoke to loads of interested people. Neil, Ed and Rory: was great to meet you (either again, or for the first time) - glad you enjoyed it. A more detailed look to follow as soon as I have the time. CS Shelton: azhdarchids were capable of a quadrupedal launch that didn't require a gallop. Awesome!

Now that you mention it, I seem to remember you mentioning that in another post. See? These things break my imagination. Without the fossil evidence, I just couldn't believe it.

By CS Shelton (not verified) on 06 Jul 2010 #permalink