Pterosaur Research: Recent Advances and a Future Revolution


  • David W. E. HONE

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    1. Department of Earth Sciences, University of Bristol, Bristol, BS8 1RJ, U. K.
    2. School of Biological and Chemical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4NS, U.K.
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In the years since the first description of a pterosaur specimen in 1784, pterosaur research has inevitably advanced considerably. However the last decade has arguably seen a much greater increase in our knowledge than the preceding two centuries. Since the turn of the new millennium, more than 40 new pterosaur genera and species have been described and whole new clades have been discovered, in addition to much new data being developed on pterosaur anatomy, functional morphology, palaeobiology, systematics, ecology and more. We are perhaps at the start of a golden age of pterosaur research and much as the dinosaurs underwent a revolution in the 1970s through to the early 1990s, now the Pterosauria are taking their turn. There is also a new and wider interest in pterosaur work as it attracts both more researchers and greater public interest. Pterosaurs appear to be an increasingly popular aspect of paleontology in popular culture and of interest to the media, both mainstream and digital.