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Caupedactylus, new tapejarid pterosaur from Early Cretaceous of Brazil



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

Alexander W. A. Kellner (2013)
A new unusual tapejarid (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Early
Cretaceous Romualdo Formation, Araripe Basin, Brazil.
Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of
Edinburgh  (advance online publication)
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1755691013000327
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9015865&fulltextType=RA&fileId=S1755691013000327



A new unusual tapejarid pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous Romualdo
Formation (Araripe Basin, Brazil) is described, based on a skull,
lower jaw and some postcranial elements. Caupedactylus ybaka gen. et
sp. shows the typical high nasoantorbital fenestra of the
Thalassodrominae but lacks a palatal ridge, and shares with the
Tapejarinae several features, including a downturned rostral end,
allowing its allocation to that clade. Furthermore, the new species
differs in having an anteriorly and posteriorly expanded premaxillary
sagittal crest, the lacrimal process of the jugal strongly inclined,
and a slit-like postpalatine fenestra, among other characters. The
region of the left jugal-quadratojugal-quadrate shows a pathology that
is likely the result of an infection. The lateral surface of the
premaxillary crest presents grooves that were interpreted in other
pterosaurs as impressions of blood vessels, corroborating growing
evidence that cranial crests could have been involved in
thermoregulation. Also, the new species has a well-preserved palate
with a large palatine forming the anterior region of the choanae and
the postpalatine fenestra and a secondary subtemporal fenestra. Since
the latter has been regarded as unique to non-pterodactyloids, its
occurrence in Caupedactylus demonstrates that the evolution of palatal
region in pterosaurs is more complex than previously thought.