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This presentation is provided by Rudolf Hofer, original text is on German, English translation and coments by Admin.
Translation from German
Page titel: Pterosaurs
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Suborder Rhamphorhynchoidea ( Pterosaurs with a long tail )
Suorder Pterodactyloidea (Pterosaurs with a short tail )
Sinopterus dongi, Pterosaurs with a wingspan of 1.2m, vegetable- and fishfeeding found in Jufotang formation by Liaoning (China)
Pterosaurs (pterosauros, meaning "winged lizard") were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (220 to 65.5 million years ago). Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight. Their wings were formed by a membrane of skin, muscle, and other tissues stretching from the legs to a dramatically lengthened fourth finger. Early species had long, fully toothed jaws and long tails, while later forms had a highly reduced tail, and some lacked teeth. Many sported furry coats made up of hair-like filaments known as pycnofibres, which covered their bodies and parts of their wings. Pterosaurs spanned a wide range of adult sizes, from the very small Nemicolopterus to the largest known flying creatures of all time, including Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx.
Pterosaurs are sometimes referred to in the popular media as dinosaurs, but this is incorrect. The term "dinosaur" is properly restricted to a certain group of reptiles with a unique upright stance (superorder Dinosauria, which includes birds), and therefore excludes the pterosaurs, as well as the various groups of extinct marine reptiles, such as ichthyosaurs, plesiosaurs, and mosasaurs.
Pterosaurs are also incorrectly referred to as "pterodactyls", particularly by journalists.This usage is discouraged. "Pterodactyl" refers specifically to members of the genus Pterodactylus, and more broadly to members of the suborder Pterodactyloidea.
Latest update 06.09.2011
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