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Stance biomechanis of the wing during flight in Anhanguera piscator and Tupuxuara leonardii (Pterosauria: Pterodactyloidea) and considerations on the evolution of flight within the group

Grant number: 19/10231-6
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): December 01, 2019
Effective date (End): June 30, 2022
Field of knowledge:Biological Sciences - Zoology - Paleozoology
Principal researcher:Fabiana Rodrigues Costa Nunes
Grantee:Rodrigo Vargas Pêgas
Home Institution: Centro de Ciências Naturais e Humanas (CCNH). Universidade Federal do ABC (UFABC). Ministério da Educação (Brasil). Santo André , SP, Brazil


Pterosaurs represent the first group of vertebrates to conquer active flight, presenting a fossil record that extends from the Upper Triassic to the Upper Cretaceous. Although they have been studied for more than 200 years, there are still many controversial issues regarding this group, including their flight, such as the stance assumed by the wings during flight, and the variation of this stance between different lineages. In this sense, the project proposes to infer, through a biomechanical study, the optimal wing stance during the static phase of the flight of two pterodactyloid pterosaurs: Anhanguera piscator and Tupuxuara leonardii. This approach, unprecedented for the study in question, includes the 3D virtual reconstruction of osteomuscular models of these two species, and a comparison between the optimal stance assumed by the models of each of these species. The results obtained from the manipulation of such models may, in addition to providing information on the flight wing posture differences of these species, contribute to the knowledge of the evolution of pterosaur flight adaptations, the types of niches occupied by this group during the Mesozoic period, and of a possible compartmentalization of niches between pterosaurs and Mesozoic birds, thus enabling a better understanding of how flight would have evolved in this group of flying reptiles. (AU)

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Scientific publications
(References retrieved automatically from Web of Science and SciELO through information on FAPESP grants and their corresponding numbers as mentioned in the publications by the authors)
HOLGADO, BORJA; PEGAS, V, RODRIGO. A taxonomic and phylogenetic review of the anhanguerid pterosaur group Coloborhynchinae and the new Glade Tropeognathinae. ACTA PALAEONTOLOGICA POLONICA, v. 65, n. 4, p. 743-761, 2020. Web of Science Citations: 0.

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