Dalla Vecchia 2022 adds to pterosaur mythology
by overlooking the lacrimal and two jugals in the anurognathid pterosaur, Batrachognathus (Figs. 1, 2). He reports, “in PIN 52-2 there is no evidence of a jugal-lacrimal bar, formed by the anterodorsal (lacrimal) process of the jugal and the lacrimal, separating the orbit and the antorbital fenestra. Only a single large opening occurs posterior to the ascending process of the triradiate bone.”
That is an oversight based on something Dalla Vecchia could not find, but was present nevertheless, this time literally just beyond his ken.
Dalla Vecchia was unable to find the lacrimal and jugal in Batrachognathus because he restricted his search to the immediate area. And he followed the similar errors of S Christopher Bennett.
Batrachognathus is a road kill
with elements jumbled and scattered. Here (Fig. 1) the ‘missing’ two jugals and a lacirmal are highlighted, the latter having drifted over to the humerus. Jeholopterus (Fig. 3) and all other anurognathids are similar. Note Dalla Vecchia only colors and labels the easy bones. The larger illustration (Fig. 1) colors and identifies every bone and has been online for 11 years.
Every bone in the Batrachognathus tracing
(Fig. 1) was transferred using Photoshop to create the reconstruction (Fig. 2), avoiding errors common in freehand reconstructions, assuring fit and following every element of the basic pterosaur bauplan.
This is not the first time
pterosaurs have been short-changed by lazy tracing (see Fig. 3) and it won’t be the last time. By putting images online I had hoped this sort of mistake would go away. Instead, the myths persist into 2022.
Dalla Vecchia FM 2022. The presence of an orbitoantorbital fenestra: further evidence of the anurognathid peculiarity within the Pterosauria. Rivista Italiana Palentologia Stratigrafia 128(1):23–42.
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