How, then, were the pterodactyls related to dinosaurs? (animatronic dinosaur factory)Pterodactyls show some clear signs of sharing a common heritage with crocodiles, dinosaurs, and birds; for example, their snouts included a large hole in the bones of the face, a hole filled in life by the anterior jaw muscles. Most authorities on the history of vertebrate evolution place pterodactyls as uncles of the dinosaurs not ancestors of dinosaurs, but relatives of their ancestors. I suspect, however, that the true relationship between pterodactyls and dinosaurs was far more intimate.
A few years ago, Jose Bonaparte, a very sagacious Argentine paleontologist, published a keynote paper about a small beast from the Triassic beds of Argentina. This graceful creature was named Lagosuchus (“rabbit-crocodile”) on ac-count of its long, rabbitlike legs. (animatronic dinosaur costume)(The Greek root suchus shouldn’t be taken too literally as crocodile; in scientific jargon suchus is used for any sort of reptilelike creature and has even been applied to some froglike amphibians.) Bonaparte pointed to one feature of the rabbitcroc especially reminiscent of all flying dragons: the Lagosuchus ‘s neck was long and had joints arranged to produce a natural S-shaped curve. (dinosaur factory)True crocodilians never have such a sigmoid flexure in their necks, and this adaptation, considered with Lago-suchus’s light overall build, makes it a good candidate for proto-pterodactyl. It’s possible to imagine rabbitcrocs bouncing over the landscape, scurrying up trees, leaping from branch to branch, and just maybe evolving a wing membrane.
Rabbitcrocs offer other evidence of their potential ancestral status, not just for pterodactyls but for dinosaurs too. (life size dinosaur for sale)Early dinosaurs of all sorts had the S-shaped neck posture. Lagosuchus also had a head shaped like that found in both early dinosaurs and early pterodactyls, particularly in the way the supporting strut for the lower joint of the jaw is arranged.