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Discovery

Pterosaur Heads Were Uniquely Adapted for Flight

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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