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Elgin R.A.,Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Karlsruhe SMNK | Hone D.W.E.,Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology IVPP | Frey E.,Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde Karlsruhe SMNK
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica | Year: 2011

The shape and extent of the membranous brachioptagium in pterosaurs remains a controversial topic for those attempting to determine the aerodynamic performance of the first vertebrate fliers. Various arguments in favour of the trailing edge terminating against either the torso or hip, the femur, the ankle, or different locations for various taxa, has resulted in several published reconstructions. Uncertainty over the correct model is detrimental to both aerodynamic and palaeoecological studies that are forced to simultaneously consider multiple and highly variable configurations for individual taxa. A review of relevant pterosaur specimens with preserved soft tissues or impressions of the wing membrane, however, strongly suggests that the trailing edge of the wing extended down to the lower leg or ankle in all specimens where the brachiopatagium is completely preserved. This configuration is seen across a phylogenetically broad range of pterosaurs and is thus likely to have been universally present throughout the Pterosauria. Support for opposing hypotheses where the trailing edge terminates against the body, hip, or knee are based on several specimens where the wing membrane is either incomplete or has undergone post-mortem contraction. An ankle attachment does not rule out a high aspect ratio wing as the curvature of the trailing edge and the ratio of the fore to hind limbs also play a major role in determining the final shape of the membrane.

Navazo M.,University of Burgos | Navazo M.,National Research Center sobre Evolucion Humana | Carbonell E.,Rovira i Virgili University | Carbonell E.,Institute Catala Of Palaeoecologia Humana I Evolucio Social | Carbonell E.,Institute of Vertebrate Palaeontology and Palaeoanthropology IVPP
Quaternary International | Year: 2014

A 314km2 archaeological survey in Sierra de Atapuerca between 1999 and 2003 found 180 open air settlements. The objectives of this study were twofold: to develop a fieldwork methodology with full-coverage and high-intensity that would permit the discovery of all prehistoric settlements in and around Sierra de Atapuerca; and to document and study the Upper Pleistocene, the only hitherto unknown period in the Sierra de Atapuerca, as it has not been preserved in the caves under excavation, and also the groups which inhabited Atapuerca at this time, the Neanderthals. Results from 31 Middle Palaeolithic sites confirm the inhabitation of the Sierra in MIS 4-3 and show settlement patterns of hunter-gatherer groups which inhabited Sierra de Atapuerca in the Upper Pleistocene. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd and INQUA.

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