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Discovery

Pterosaur Heads Were Uniquely Adapted for Flight

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several views of pterosaur skulls

Entombed in fossilized skulls of Rhamphorhynchus muensteri (upper, background) and Anhanguera santanae (lower, foreground) are the remains of semi-circular canals (shown in green), the inner-ear structures that assist in equilibrium maintenance by providing leveling information to the brain. When the respective canals are oriented to be level along a horizontal plane, the skull of Rhamphorhynchus is horizontal, while the skull of Anhanguera tilts downward. This positioning offers clues to feeding, flying and other behaviors of these dinosaurs.

Credit: Kyle McQuilkin and Ryan Ridgely, Ohio University


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