Monday, November 1, 2010

Painten Pelican

Here is a reference to a very interesting picture:
"An unusual pterosaur skull, nicknamed the Painten Pelican, has caused a lot of discussion amongst pterosaur palaeontologists because it is, superficially at least, so danged weird (see image, above). The specimen comprised a complete skull, mandible and cervical vertebra and, if you’re around in Southern Germany, you can see it for yourself: it’s on display in the Solnhofen Museum. A cast and UV photographs of the specimen were making quite a buzz at the 2007 Flugsaurier Meeting, and, apparently, the specimen is very slowly being written up."


  1. Please take this down. This is our image and the site and blog clearly state:

    "As with all images on the site, these images are either the property of or permission has been granted by the original photographer or the institute to which the specimen belongs. Please do not copy or reproduce them. If you would like permission to use these images, then please contact the relevant organisation or"


  2. It has been removed. My apologies.
    Since you are here let me ask - Why did you nickname it "pelican".
    Is it because it had a striking resemblance to a modern day pelican?

    What do you think of the large number of striking similarities between pterosaurs and birds?

    And you are not banned here as you have banned me. I welcome all questions and criticisms. I think that is how science should operate. Not banning people we disagree with.

  3. I don't know if that last comment posted, the computer froze.

    If not, then:

    Thanks for taking down the picture.

    1. It was given that nickname by the person who found it.

    2. It has no striking similarites with a modern pelican, what with the teeth, bent jaws, saggital crest, nasoantorbital fenestra etc.

    3.I have explained, at length, the differences between birds and pterosaurs and their evolutionary pathways, both on my blog and on Ask A Biologist.

    4. I banned you becuase you acted like a troll. Here is one of the primary threads in case you forgot how you repeatedly repeated questions and ignored the answers and explaintions patiently given to you (

    To accuse me of being anti-science is stupid as you know perfectly well that I am a practicing researcher. Science is not done on blogs so me banning you or otherwise is irrelevant. If you want to discuss science and pterosaurs go to meetings or write papers. Writing a blog or posting comments on other blogs is not science. My banning you on mine is not inhibiting the progress of science one iota, so do not pretend that it is. There are hundreds of journals you could submit papers to and dozens of meeting each year you could attend, and one basic rule of scientific discourse is acting courteously and presenting evidence and arguments, you did none of these things so I fail to see how I am responsible for your behaviour.

  4. You have commented:
    "It has no striking similarites with a modern pelican, what with the teeth, bent jaws, saggital crest, nasoantorbital fenestra etc."

    If that is the case, why in the world did he/she nickname it "pelican" and why is it generally referred to that way?
    Could you not straighten them out about that?

    Also before you banned me at "ask a biologist" you did say:
    “In answer to your question though yes, in theory, birds could be the sister-taxon to pterosaurs and still be considered closer to dinosaurs than crocodiles.
    So with the very loose results, yeah, it's possible that birds are closer to pterosaurs.”

    At least you acknowledged that, before you banned me.
    But please repeat here all the caveats you were able to get in about your statement if you wish.