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New Pterosaur



I can only assume that this is the bizarre, heterodont, Late Triassic,
crested pterosaur that Darren Naish has been hinting at awhile on his blog
that ostensibly has a "theropod-like" head...the paper is now out!

Stecher, R. 2008. A new Triassic pterosaur from Switzerland (Central
Austroalpine, Grisons), Raeticodactylus filisurensis gen. et sp. nov. Swiss
Journal of Geosciences. doi: 10.1007/s00015-008-1252-6. ABSTRACT: A new
basal non-pterodactyloid pterosaur, Raeticodactylus filisurensis gen. et sp.
nov., is reported. It has been discovered in shallow marine sediments from
the Upper Triassic of the lowest Kössen beds (late Norian/early Rhaetian
boundary) in the central Austroalpine of Canton Grisons (Switzerland). The
disarticulated specimen is comprised of an almost complete skull and a
partial postcranial skeleton. A high and thin bony, sagittal cranial crest
characterizes the anterodorsal region of the skull. The large mandible, with
an additional keel-like expansion at the front, partly matches the enlarged
sagittal cranial crest. A direct and close relationship to Austriadactylus
cristatus, the only known Triassic pterosaur with a bony cranial crest so
far, cannot be established. The teeth of the premaxilla are monocuspid and
exhibit very strongly bowed enamel wrinkles on the lingual side whereas the
enamel is smooth on the labial side. These monocuspid teeth are large and
fang-like. The numerous smaller teeth of the maxilla show three, four and
five cusps. These are very similar to the teeth of the Triassic pterosaur
Eudimorphodon ranzii. The humerus shows a thinner construction than that
seen in other Triassic pterosaurs. The femur is quite unusual with a caput
femoris perpendicular to the shaft. The bones of the extremities are almost
twice as long as the ones from the largest Triassic specimen E. ranzii
(MCSNB 2888). The newly described pterosaur is an adult, with a wingspan of
approximately 135 cm. A morphofunctional analysis suggests that R.
filisurensis was a highly specialized piscivore and possibly a skim-feeder.


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Jerry D. Harris
Director of Paleontology
Dixie State College
Science Building
225 South 700 East
St. George, UT  84770   USA
Phone: (435) 652-7758
Fax: (435) 656-4022
E-mail: jharris@dixie.edu
 and     dinogami@gmail.com
http://cactus.dixie.edu/jharris/

"There's a saying that goes 'people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw
stones'... OK. How about...NOBODY should throw stones. That's crappy
behavior! My policy is 'no stone-throwing regardless of housing situation.'
There's an exception, though. If you're TRAPPED in a glass house...and you
have a stone, then throw it! What are you, an idiot? It's really 'ONLY
people in glass houses should throw stones'... provided they're trapped, in
a house... with a stone. It's a little longer, but you know..."
                                 --- Demetri Martin