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Re: Aetodactylus, the Dallas pterosaur

I agree: it doesn't look terribly ornithocheirid like to me. I'm not
sure about the curvature: isn't that a consequence of distortion? 

As for it's affinities, I reckon it's something to do with
lonchodectids. Features such as the shallow jaw; subequal tooth size;
regular alveoli spacing; 'pedicellate' alveoli and a rounded jaw tip in
lateral profile are unusual features amongst ornithocheirids but are
pretty standard for lonchodectids. Granted, I don't think any
lonchodectid jaw tips show lateral expansion, but the jaw tips referable
to Lonchodectideae are pretty scrappy and, in any case, the Aetodactylus
jaw tip is really, really subtly expanded. By contrast, most
ornithocheirids - even those without crests - have comparatively deep
jaws with blunter terminations in lateral profile, highly variable
dentition and variable tooth spacing: there seems more weight to placing
it amongst lonchodectids than ornithocheirids to me.



Dr. Mark Witton

Palaeobiology Research Group
School of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Portsmouth
Burnaby Building
Burnaby Road

Tel: (44)2392 842418
E-mail: Mark.Witton@port.ac.uk

>>> David Peters <davidpeters@att.net> 29/04/2010 10:42 >>>
Myers, Timothy S.(2010) 'A new ornithocheirid pterosaur from the Upper
Cretaceous (Cenomanian- Turonian) Eagle Ford Group of Texas', Journal of
Vertebrate Paleontology, 30: 1, 280 â 287

I don't know of any ornithocheirid with such a dorsoventrally flattened
mandible with a slight dishy curve. But there are other such taxa in the
Solnhofen formation, all smaller. Methinks it's more like one of those.

David Peters
St. Louis