Ancient Gold Cocle (Panama) Pterosaur?

Posted by Chris Parker | November 14, 2006 0

The following quote basically says that pterosaur crests were sometimes larger than it appeared from pterosaur fossils and that even pterosaurs who appeared not to have a crest might have possessed one because the crests were often poorly preserved.

“The remarkable preservation of the non-ossified headcrest on Pterorhynchus reveals that such bony ridges are directly indicative of a much larger cranial structure. This non-ossified portion of the head crest was a rigid structure presumably made of keratin.

As can be seen in Pterorhynchus, the leading edge of the ossified ridge on the nasals directly correlates to the leading edge of the much larger unossified headcrest.

This demonstrates that the ossified headcrests on pterodactyls must also be indications of far larger headcrests than previously supposed. The overall size of the entire headcrest is so disproportionately larger than the ossified basal part that this suggests a substantial development of an unossified crest may be present even before any physical indications appear in the actual bone.

Therefore, even pterosaurs without ossified crests may have had a substantial crest of significant size STEPHEN A. CZERKAS and QIANG JI”.

Our take on the Cocle culture gold piece is that it quite clearly represents a pterosaur with a distinctive head crest. Previously, on Page 43 of this this section, we mentioned the Tapejara pterosaurs of Brazil who had very large distinctive head crests. They might be a candidate for this representation-or it could be of a yet undiscovered pterosaur type. Finally, it could be a known pterosaur whose crest has been incompletley or inaccurately recreated by science.

Sotheby’s refers to this item as “saurian”. according to, the meaning of that term is: ” (Science: zoology) A division of reptilia formerly established to include the lacertilia, Crocodilia, dinosauria, and other groups.”


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