Thursday, November 10, 2011

A question about the pterosaur wing finger folding

Does this drawing represent the current thinking about how the pterosaur folded its wing finger?


Here is a basic question about the current thinking - that the 4th finger is the wing finger and that it is turned 90 degrees. Is it turned 90 degrees TOWARD the THUMB or 90 degrees AWAY from the THUMB? I have not seen any reference that explicitly answers that question.
Can anyone provide a reference that gives the answer to that question? 


  1. Here are other drawings:

  2. Here is a funny thing.
    I got one comment that I should know which way it turned and anther comment that it did not turn at all.
    And nobody has even tried to answer the question.
    If people think that the pterosaur hand is settled, then they are kidding themselves.

    "...the large size, great length, and unconventional arrangement such that it swung backward in flight position enabled digit IV to spread and support the wing yet fold it out of the way when the animal was not flying.
    Such an arrangement of fingers with one swinging away from the others is unique among vertebrates.

    Let's consider this "uniqueness".
    Whenever an explanation requires a characteristic that is "unique among vertebrates" we have to question whether this explanation is correct.
    After all, if someone says to you - okay here how it worked. It worked in a way that is found NOWHERE ELSE IN THE VERTEBRATE WORLD. Then you have to think that perhaps that explanation is not correct.

    So I think we can put such a magical explanation to the side.