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Ardeadactylus longicollum, new pterosaur; Pterodactylus revised

From: Ben Creisler

A recent paper that has not been mentioned yet on the DML.

S. Christopher Bennett (2012) [2013]
New information on body size and cranial display structures of
Pterodactylus antiquus, with a revision of the genus
Paläontologische Zeitschrift (advance online publication)
doi: 10.1007/s12542-012-0159-8

Pterodactylus antiquus has long been thought to have been quite small
(~50 cm wingspan) and to have differed from P. longicollum,
Ctenochasma, Germanodactylus, and Gnathosaurus in lacking a bony
cranial crest, though a soft tissue crest and occipital lappet have
been described. This article describes a new specimen of P. antiquus
larger than all previously known specimens, which demonstrates that
the species exceeded 1 m in wingspan and had a low bony cranial crest.
A smaller, incipient crest was identified on the holotype specimen.
Additional specimens, including the counterpart of Wellnhofer’s
original occipital lappet specimen, provide evidence of the occipital
lappet and the soft tissue crest extending upward above the
naso-antorbital fenestra and orbit. In order to provide a proper
taxonomic context for the findings, the recent synonymization of the
species Pterodactylus antiquus and P. kochi on the basis of shared
correlation of tooth number and skull length despite perceived
differences in dentition and skull, neck, and trunk proportions is
reviewed. A measurement error that had made it appear that P. antiquus
differed significantly from P. kochi in proportions is documented, and
after correction of the measurement error and reevaluation of the
dental evidence there are no significant differences between the two
nominal species. Thus, the synonymization of P. antiquus and P. kochi
was appropriate, and a revised diagnosis is presented. In addition,
the species P. longicollum and P. micronyx, which for some years have
been viewed as not congeneric with P. antiquus, are placed in a new
genus and transferred to Aurorazhdarcho, respectively.