Morphological Modifications Page 2

The Wings (continued)

The pteroid bone is attached at the base of the wrist, on the front of the wing and faces towards the body. The pteroid bone is the location for the attachment of a thick ligament which ran from the wing to the neck. This ligament served several functions: it allowed for control over the wing, and it enable the folding of the wing against the body.

For some time there has been some debate about the strength and rigidity of the membrane. Originally it was thought the membrane was comprised of just skin; in recent years, fossils of exceptional preservation seem to show otherwise. Fossils ofRhamphorhyncus (Mac/Win) indicate that there were fibers that ran from the leading edge to the trailing edge of the wing. The composition of the fibers are unknown and may have been made of cartilage or keratin. Evidence of these fibers are not always preserved or may not have been present in all Pterosaurs.

Rhamphorhynchus wing membrane.



© Patrick Lyons 1998.