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Azhdarchoid pterosaur from Early Cretaceous of Dorset, England



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new online paper:

David M. Martill, Michael O'Sullivan & Charlie Newman (2013)
A possible azhdarchid pterosaur (Pterosauria, Azhdarchidae) in the
Durlston Formation (Early Cretaceous, Berriasian) of southern England.
Cretaceous Research (advance online publication)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cretres.2013.02.007
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195667113000347


A new specimen of pterosaurian metacarpal IV from the Early Cretaceous
(Berriasian) Durlston Formation of Dorset, southern England, closely
resembles those of the Chinese dsungaripterid Dsungaripterus weii
Young, 1964 and the Central Asian azhdarchid Azhdarcho lancicollis
Nessov, 1984. However, the new specimen lacks the thickened bony wall
typical of Dsungaripteridae and is therefore regarded as azhdarchoid.
An mcIV with a markedly offset distal condyle with well-developed
diaphyseal constriction behind the distal condyle and asymmetrical
condylar margins may be an autapomorphy of Dsungaripteridae +
Azhdarchoidea, while the same condition with bone thickening may
typify Dsungaripteridae. The new specimen also provides osteological
evidence supporting claims for large wing-spanned pterosaurs in the
Berriasian of southern England based previously only on ichnological
finds. The new specimen suggests a wingspan of between 2.9 and 3.7 m
and represents the largest pterosaur from the Berriasian.