STL Science Center

STL Science Center

06 March 2012

Anurognathus Junior

This needed some kind of picture, it looked too naked. This is a good one I think
The original paper naming and describing Anurognathus ammoni is written in German because the German Doderlein wrote it in his native tongue. No one can begrudge him this and I am quite sure translations exist. The difficulty with old papers, however, is that they do not always show up on the internet when we would like them to. We do, however, have the luck to have it appear in one place, though it is in the original German and only page one is free. I will keep searching for a translation, but I do not believe the world is on my side with this one.

However, there are two newer papers that first redefine the characteristics of the reptile as a flying animal and second describe a new specimen of the animal. The first paper, by S. Christopher Bennett, 2003, is a short paper communication without figures that glosses over existing described specimens, Chinese and Kazakhstanian family members (anurognathids), and then launches into a short description of the new specimen of Anurognathus. As I mentioned Saturday in Dmitry Bogdanov's illustration, the eye is a strikingly large organ in this flying reptile and, as Bennett points out in his discussion of the eye in this new specimen's better preserved skull, the eye sits at a 45 degree angle that would allow for some binocular vision. This is a little discussed topic, though it is gaining in discussion from larger studies pertaining to it, that is very important in that binocular vision allows for depth perception, a tool that we use daily in our lives.

The second, newer version of Bennett's short communication, does include some very well detailed figures. He has made this available on his own homepage so all of the copyright's belong to him, therefore, make sure if you wish to read it later and go to save it you read his guidelines before doing so. Just remember when looking at the figures and reading this newer publication that this specimen, like the holotype, was comprised of two slabs which have been pulled apart. In the original specimen one slab was lost completely, though, and is therefore not as complete a specimen as this one where both slabs are known to exist even though they belong to two different private collectors.

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