Concepts and Controversy

Bipedal or Quadrupedal Page 1

One of the greatest questions in the study of pterosaurs is whether they walked like birds or shuffled like bats on the ground. Initially it was thought they shuffled much like bats on the ground. However in recent years, specialists have been arguing the case that Pterosaurs locomoted more like birds. But even more recently the focus has shifted back to a bat like stance.

The problem lies in that the position of the wing membrane attachments; as they are not certain. Some believe that the membrane is incorporated into the hind limbs much like a bat. Others believe that hind limbs were left completely free and this enabled the pterosaur to walk upright. The impressions of preserved membranes are frustratingly inconclusive.



© Patrick Lyons 1998.