Page:EB1911 - Volume 22.djvu/632

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616
PTERODACTYLES—PTOLEMIES


(1903), vol. xlvi. 715; “Cephalodiscus: Budding,” &c., Trans. Roy. Soc. Edin. (1900), vol. xxxix. 507; (7) Ridewood, “Cephalodiscus,” Mar. Invest. S. Africa (1906), vol. iv. 173; National Antarctic Exp., Nat. Hist., ii. (1907); Quart. Journ. Mic. Sci. (1907), vol. ii., 221; (8) G. O. Sars, “Rhabdopleura,” Christiania Univ. Program. (1869), vol. i.; (9) Schepotieff, “Rhabdopleura,” Zool. Jahrb. Abt. Anat. (1906), vol. xxiii., 463; (1907), vol. xxiv., 193; “Cephalodiscus” (1907), vol. xxiv. 553; “Rhabdopleura and Graptolites,” Neues Jahrb. f. Mineral (1905), Bd. ii. p. 79.

(S. F. H.) 

PTERODACTYLES (Gr. for wing-fingers), an extinct order of flying reptiles, variously known as Pterosauria (Gr. for wing-lizards) or Ornithosauria (Gr. for bird-lizards), whose remains occur in all Mesozoic formations from the Lower Lias to the Upper Cretaceous inclusive. Their bones are of very light, though strong construction, and hollow like those of flying birds, with well-fitting articulations, quite different from those of ordinary reptiles. The head is large and remarkably bird-like in shape, while it is fixed on the neck at the same angle as in birds. The brain is small, but resembles that of birds in its general conformation. The trunk is relatively small, with few slender ribs and a keeled breastbone (sternum). The forelimbs are always a pair of wings, the fifth digit or “little” finger being enormously elongated for the support of a smooth flying membrane (seen in specimens from the lithographic stone of Bavaria). The wings are thus constructed on the same plan as those of a bat, but instead of four fingers, only one is elongated to bear the membrane. The hind-limbs are comparatively feeble, and must have been of very little use for walking.

EB1911 Pterodactyles.jpg

Rhamphorhynchus phyllurus: restoration by O. C. Marsh, showing extent of flying membranes.—Upper Jurassic (Lithographic stone); Bavaria.

The remains of pterodactyles are found chiefly in marine deposits, so that these reptiles must have frequented the coastlines. They probably fed partly on fish, partly on insects; but no traces of food have hitherto been observed within the fossil skeletons. The oldest satisfactorily known member of the group is Dimorphodon from the Lower Lias of Dorsetshire. The typical species has a skull about 20 centim. in length, with large teeth in front, smaller teeth behind; its tail is much elongated and slender. Equally fine skeletons of Campylognathus have been found in the Upper Lias of Württemberg. Other long-tailed pterodactyles occur well preserved in the Upper Jurassic (lithographic stone) of Bavaria and Württemberg, which is so fine-grained as to show impressions of the wing-membrane. In Rhamphorhynchus there is also a rhomboidal expansion of membrane at the end of the tail. The short-tailed Pterodactylus itself, sometimes no larger than a sparrow, is also found in the same formation. It was originally described by Collini in 1784 as an unknown sea-animal, and its “true nature was first determined by Cuvier in 1809, when he named it “Pterodactyle.” The Pterosaurians of the Cretaceous period, just before their extinction both in Europe and in North America, were of enormous size, and some became toothless. A pair of wings of the toothless Pteranodon from the Chalk of Kansas, now in the British Museum, measures about five and a half metres in span. Fragments of equally large pterodactyles with teeth are found in the English Chalk.

See H. G. Seeley, The Ornithosauria (Cambridge, 1870) and Dragons of the Air (London, 1901); S. W. Williston, paper in Kansas University Quarterly (1897), vi. 35; G. F. Eaton, papers in Amer. Journ. Science (1903-1904), 4th series, vols. xvi., xvii.

(A. S. Wo.) 

PTERON (Gr. πτερόν, a wing), an architectural term used by Pliny for the peristyle of the tomb of Mausolus, which was raised on a lofty podium, and so differed from an ordinary peristyle raised only on a stylobate, as in Greek temples, or on a low podium, as in Roman temples.

PTOLEMAEUS, of Alexandria, surnamed Chennus, Greek grammarian during the reigns of Trajan and Hadrian. According to Suïdas, he was the author of an historical drama named Sphinx, of an epic, Anthomeros, in 24 books (both lost) and a Strange History. The last is probably identical with the work of which an abridgment has been preserved in Photius (cod. 190). It contains a medley of all sorts of legends and fables belonging to both the mythological and historical periods. It is probable that Chennus was also the author of a lost treatise on the life and works of Aristotle, ascribed to “Ptolemaeus” in an Arabic list of his works, taken from a Syriac version of the Greek original (A. Baumstark, Aristoteles bei den Syrern vom v.-viii. Jahrh., Leipzig, 1900).

See editions of Photius's abridgment by J. Roulez (1834); and in A. Westermann, Mythographi graeci (1843); R. Hercher, Über die Glaubwürdigkeit der neuen Geschichte des Ptolemaus Chennus (Leipzig, 1856); J. E. Sandys, Hist. of Classical Scholarship (2nd ed., 1906).

PTOLEMIES, a dynasty of Macedonian kings who ruled in Egypt from 323 to 30 B.C.

The founder, Ptolemy (Πτολεμαῖος), son of Lagus, a Macedonian nobleman of Eordaea, was one of Alexander the Great's most trusted generals, and among the seven “body-guards” attached to his person. He plays a principal part in the later campaigns of Alexander in Afghanistan and India. At the Susa marriage festival in 324 Alexander caused him to marry the Persian princess Artacama; but there is no further mention of this Asiatic bride in the history of Ptolemy. When Alexander died in 323 the resettlement of the empire at Babylon is said to have been made at Ptolemy's instigation. At any rate he was now appointed satrap of Egypt under the nominal kings Philip Arrhidaeus and the young Alexander. He at once took a high hand in the province by killing Cleomenes, the financial controller appointed by Alexander the Great; he also subjugated Cyrenaïca. He contrived to get possession of Alexander's body which was to be interred with great pomp by the imperial government and placed it temporarily in Memphis. This act led to an open rupture between Ptolemy and the imperial regent Perdiccas. But Perdiccas perished in the attempt to invade Egypt (321). In the long wars between the different Macedonian chiefs which followed, Ptolemy's first object is to hold his position in Egypt securely, and secondly to possess the Cyrenaïca, Cyprus and Palestine (Coele-Syria). His first occupation of Palestine was in 318, and he established at the same time a protectorate over the petty kings of Cyprus. When Antigonus, master of Asia in 315, showed dangerous ambitions, Ptolemy joined the coalition against him, and, on the outbreak of war, evacuated Palestine. In Cyprus he fought the partisans of Antigonus and reconquered the island (313). A revolt of Cyrene was crushed in the same year. In 312 Ptolemy, with Seleucus, the fugitive satrap of Babylonia, invaded Palestine and beat Demetrius, the son of Antigonus, in the great battle of Gaza. Again he occupied Palestine, and again a few months later, after Demetrius had won a battle over his general and Antigonus entered Syria in force, he evacuated it. In 311 a peace was concluded between the combatants, soon after which the surviving king Alexander was murdered in Macedonia, leaving the satrap of Egypt absolutely his own master. The peace did not last long, and in 309 Ptolemy commanded a fleet in person which detached the coast towns of Lycia and Caria from Antigonus and crossed to Greece, where Ptolemy took possession of Corinth, Sicyon and Megara (308). In 306 a great fleet under Demetrius attacked Cyprus, and Ptolemy's brother, Menelaus, was defeated and captured in the decisive battle of Salamis. The complete loss of Cyprus followed. Antigonus and Demetrius