Tag Archives: metacarpals

Pterosaur claws

I have several photos of individual finger bones from yet undescribed species which might be Tupuxuara. I also have pictures of the fingers of Tapejara wellnhoferi. But I only have photos of the bones of Tapejara from one angle, in black and white and in low resolution, so I can’t really see if they are flattened out, or curved in some direction. I assume they are straight comparing to the other photos I have (unfortunately I can’t post any of those pictures here, since they are all unpublished research). I compared different drawings of pterosaur hands and they seem quite similar. The number of phalanges is the same in all pterosaurs. Including the nails, the pattern for fingers 1-4 (where 4 is the wing) is 2-3-4-4. The sizes, the widths and the shape (curved, straight, flattened) of the phalanges differ across different species. As to the proportions, I found no great differences between some drawings of Tupuxuara hands (from which I have no sources), Tapejara and Pteranodon. So I used this drawing by Wellnhofer, scaled it to mach the size of my Tupuxuara skeleton, and used it as a guide to carve the fingers.

Here are the fingers and metacarpals after carving.

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These are the finger bones and nails before assembly. I already pinned the metacarpals together.

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I have to turn the metacarpals a bit, but this is how the fingers will be assembled.

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Here are Tupuxuara’s claws after assembly. I am using pins to test, but I will later keep the fingers and metacarpals together using some cartilage (silicone rubber). If I use pins all the time it will weaken the foam.

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Now I placed the metacarpals back on the skeleton with the claws in place.

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Here are some other angles showing the left hand.

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This is the right hand.

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Tupuxuara: planning the wings

Tupuxuara’s wingspan is about 4.5 metres wide. The wing connects to the scapulocoracoid through the humerus, which is the arm bone. Then come the radio-ulna pair (forearm), carpal bones (wrist), metacarpals (hand) and fingers. There is one large finger which is the wing. It’s metacarpal and phalanges are more than two thirds of the length of the wing.

This is a diagram of the right wing showing the sources that I have (Iwaki museum) in brown. The parts that are missing are shown in white. I will have to invent them. Click to see a larger image.

DCF 1.0

Most of my sources are four photographs of each bone, showing four sides. I have no photos of the bones viewed from the tips. I will have to do my best to discover their shape from the pictures I have. I will certainly miss details (concavities, for example) unless I can infer them from shadows.

I will start with the humerus but will make all the bones at the same time (it’s faster that way and I can let the glue dry better before carving and shaping).

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Filed under Pterosaur #5: Tupuxuara