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Qinglongopterus, new Jurassic pterosaur from China



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com



A new pterosaur from China in Zootaxa:



JUNCHANG LÜ, DAVID M. UNWIN, BO ZHAO, CHUNLING GAO & CAIZHI SHEN (2012)
A new rhamphorhynchid (Pterosauria: Rhamphorhynchidae) from the
Middle/Upper Jurassic of Qinglong, Hebei Province, China.
Zootaxa 3158: 1–19 (12 Jan. 2012)
http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/taxa/Reptilia.html
Preview: http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2012/f/z03158p019f.pdf



A heavily compressed, but nearly complete fossil skeleton recovered
from the Middle/Upper Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of Mutoudeng,
Qinglong County, Hebei Province, China, represents a new genus and
species of long-tailed pterosaur, Qinglongopterus guoi gen. et sp.
nov. The holotype and only known specimen has an estimated forelimb
length of 0.18 m. The new taxon is distinguished by a relatively short
skull, a remarkably short pteroid with a distinctive knob-like distal
expansion, and a prepubis with a relatively slender distal process.
Phylogenetic analysis demonstrates that Qinglongopterus is a member of
Rhamphorhynchidae, exhibiting many of the unique character states
found in members of this clade. Qinglongopterus is strikingly similar
to Rhamphorhynchus and more closely related to this taxon than to any
other rhamphorhynchine, this pairing is supported by morphometric data
and several synapomorphies (short, broad nasal process of the maxilla;
forelimb length more than four times that of the hind limb;
wing-phalanx one more than twice the length of the tibia).
Qinglongopterus demonstrates that the highly derived skeletal
morphology of Rhamphorhynchus, known only from the latest Jurassic
(Tithonian) of Europe, had already appeared by the start of the Late
Jurassic. This hints at evolutionary stasis in Rhamphorhynchinae, a
phenomenon seemingly also present in two other clades of basal
pterosaurs,Anurognathidae and Scaphognathinae, and contrasting sharply
with basal monofenestratans which appear to have under gone extensive
evolutionary change during the same interval.