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Pterosaur ichnogenus Purbeckopus in Early Cretaceous of Germany



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:


Jahn J. Hornung & Mike Reich (2013)
The First Record of the Pterosaur Ichnogenus Purbeckopus in the Late
Berriasian (Early Cretaceous) of Northwest Germany.
Ichnos 20(4): 164-172
DOI: 10.1080/10420940.2013.845097
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10420940.2013.845097#.UosNOMQ_sbk

A hypichnium of a manus imprint (preserved as plaster cast) indicates
for the first time the presence of the large pterosaur ichnotaxon
Purbeckopus cf. pentadactylus Delair, 1963 in the late Berriasian of
northwest Germany. It is only the second record of Purbeckopus
globally and the first pterosaur track from Germany. It provides
evidence of a very large pterosaur (wingspan c. 6 m) in this area and
from this time period not yet represented by skeletal remains. When
compared with the English type material, the specimen exhibits some
differences that are related mostly to different properties of the
substrate on which both were left. These include, in the German track,
an impression of the metacarpo-phalangeal joint of the wing finger,
normally not present in pterosaur tracks. Also interesting is the
rather blunt termination of the deeply impressed digits I–III,
indicating rather short and blunt claws, which seem more suitable for
walking than for grasping or climbing. The specimens of Purbeckopus in
England and Germany occur in different environments: the English
locality was situated close to a brackish lagoon, while the German
site belongs to a limnic-deltaic system at the margin of a large,
freshwater lake.