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Biggest toothed pterosaur?



From: Ben Creisler
bh480@scn.org

A new online paper:

David M. Martill and David M. Unwin (2011)
The world's largest toothed pterosaur, NHMUK R481, an incomplete rostrum of
Coloborhynchus capito (Seeley 1870) from the Cambridge Greensand of England.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2011.09.003 
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S019566711100125X


The assignment of a fragment of the anterior tip of a pterosaur rostrum
from the Cenomanian Cambridge Greensand of eastern England to the
ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus capito (Seeley, 1870) is confirmed. The
fragment represents partial left and right fused premaxillae and retains
broken teeth within alveoli. A width across the palate of 56 mm, a height
at the anterior rostrum in excess of 95 mm and a tooth with a diameter of
13 mm at the base of the crown indicates a remarkably large individual,
tentatively estimated to have had a skull length in excess of 0.75 m and a
wing span of up to 7 m. This fragment represents the largest toothed
pterosaur yet reported. This find, and several other large postcranial
fragments from the Cambridge Greensand, suggest that ornithocheirids,
toothed ornithocheiroids known from the earliest Early to early Late
Cretaceous (Valanginian?Cenomanian) achieved very large, but not giant
size. Pteranodontids, edentulous ornithocheiroids currently known only from
the mid Upper Cretaceous (Coniacian?early Campanian), reached similar
dimensions (up to 7.25 m in wing span) but, contrary to popular myth, did
not attain the giant sizes (wing spans of 10 m or more) achieved by
azhdarchids in the late Late Cretaceous (Campanian?Maastrichtian).


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