Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy

Despite 220 years of study, flying reptiles have received little attention from the popular press. Only three truly comprehensive, popular books dedicated to pterosaurs have been published in this time, and only one this century, meaning much of the recent 'Pterosaur Renaissance' - the current surge in pterosaur discoveries and research beginning in the late 1980s - remains untold outside of the technical literature.


Pterosaurs, published by Princeton University Press, is a critically-acclaimed attempt to plug this obvious gap in popular scientific writing. Fully referenced and richly-illustrated, it documents pterosaur palaeobiology and diversity in a manner not attempted for over 30 years. Overviews of pterosaur evolution, anatomy, functional morphology and taxonomy are presented through 100,00 words and 200 illustrations spread across 26 chapters.


Chapter contents


Section 1: Pterosaur palaeobiology, a summary


1. Introduction to pterosaurs

2. A brief overview of pterosaur research history

3. Pterosaur origins

4. Pterosaur anatomy - Osteology

5. Pterosaur anatomy - Soft-tissues

6. Pterosaur locomotion - Flight (see excerpt, here)

7. Pterosaur locomotion - On the ground

8. Pterosaur palaeoecology


Section 2: Pterosaur diversity


An overview of all currently recognised pterosaur groups, including research history, palaeobiogeography, anatomical descriptions, locomotory abilities and specifics of palaeoecology.


9. Pterosaur evolution - an introduction

10. Basal pterosaurs and Dimorphodontidae

11. Anurognathidae

12. Campylognathoididae

13. Rhamphorhynchidae

14. Wukongopteridae

15. Istiodactylidae

16. Ornithocheiridae

17. Boreopteridae (sample chapter)

18. Pteranodontia

19. Ctenochasmatoidea

20. Dsungaripteroidea

21. Lonchodectidae

22. Tapejaridae

23. Thalassodromidae

24. Chaoyangopteridae

25. Azhdarchidae


Section 3: Epilogue


26. Pterosaur extinction




Pterosaurs: Illustrations and figures

Zhenyuanopterus photographs kindly provided by Lü Junchang.


29 full-page colour paintings of pterosaurs in their environment

Skeletal diagrams and colour life restorations of over 22 pterosaur species

Line-drawings of pterosaur fossils

Vector diagrams of pterosaur anatomy and trackways

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