In fact, as nineteenth-century anatomists had pointed out, pterodactyls were more fully committed to an active aerial way of life than any modern bird or bat, with the possible exception of swifts or hummingbirds. (dinosaur factory)Every section of its anatomy evinced the drastic remodeling performed by evolution in order to transform the pterodactyl’s terrestrial ancestor into a consummate aerialist. Shoulder bones had been reshaped so that the shoulder socket, which usually faced rearward, faced forward and outward like a bird’s. Why should the joint have been so totally reorganized unless pterodactyls were actively flapping? (life size dinosaur for sale)In addition, if a powerful rhythm of muscular contractions did propel the pterodactyl’s wings up and down in the figure-eight pattern required for active flight, then we would expect the shoulder to be very firmly braced against the torso.
And so it is. The pterodactyl’s entire torso was highly compact from front to rear and the whole was reinforced by two rigid bony girders. Where the shoulder blade touched the backbone, the shoulder abutted the anterior bony girder, composed of a half-dozen vertebrae firmly stuck together.(life like dinosaur) This girder was a naturally evolved back brace that could support the enormous stresses of the beating wing. In front of the hip joint, the right and left hip bones were fused to another long set of vertebrae, constituting a second back brace. (dinosaur suppliers)Together, these shoulder and hip braces made the pterodactyl’s torso a light but incredibly strong boxwork of bony struts, exceeding in strength the body of the most modern birds. All this evolutionary modeling in the pterodactyl would have made no sense if these creatures had been merely passive gliders. Great strength in the bony frame evolves to resist great forces in this case, the forces of active and strenuous flapping.