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Caiuajara, new Cretaceous pterosaur from Brazil found in desert bonebed



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

New in PLoS ONE:


Paulo C. Manzig, Alexander W. A. Kellner, Luiz C. Weinschütz, Carlos
E. Fragoso, Cristina S. Vega, Gilson B. Guimarães, Luiz C.
Godoy,Antonio Liccardo, João H. Z. Ricetti & Camila C. de Moura (2014)
Discovery of a Rare Pterosaur Bone Bed in a Cretaceous Desert with
Insights on Ontogeny and Behavior of Flying Reptiles.
PLoS ONE 9(8): e100005.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0100005
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0100005

A pterosaur bone bed with at least 47 individuals (wing spans:
0.65–2.35 m) of a new species is reported from southern Brazil from an
interdunal lake deposit of a Cretaceous desert, shedding new light on
several biological aspects of those flying reptiles. The material
represents a new pterosaur, Caiuajara dobruskii gen. et sp. nov., that
is the southermost occurrence of the edentulous clade Tapejaridae
(Tapejarinae, Pterodactyloidea) recovered so far. Caiuajara dobruskii
differs from all other members of this clade in several cranial
features, including the presence of a ventral sagittal bony expansion
projected inside the nasoantorbital fenestra, which is formed by the
premaxillae; and features of the lower jaw, like a marked rounded
depression in the occlusal concavity of the dentary. Ontogenetic
variation of Caiuajara dobruskii is mainly reflected in the size and
inclination of the premaxillary crest, changing from small and
inclined (~115°) in juveniles to large and steep (~90°) in adults. No
particular ontogenetic features are observed in postcranial elements.
The available information suggests that this species was gregarious,
living in colonies, and most likely precocial, being able to fly at a
very young age, which might have been a general trend for at least
derived pterosaurs.


News stories:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/08/140813-pterosaur-dinosaurs-science-animals-new-species/


http://www.livescience.com/47337-cretaceous-flying-reptile-discovered.html