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Re: Azhdarchidae (Pterosauria) review monograph (free pdf)

Thanks to Ben, as always, for the heads up on a new paper.

I just read through the paper this morning, and it is a rather exhaustive 
review of localities and specimens, which is really useful. I am, however, 
perplexed by the comment that azhdarchids were “most common in nearshore marine 
paleoenvironments” (in the abstract and the discussion of the manuscript) given 
that 65% of the remains are from environments other than coastal marine. Sure, 
the 35% coastal marine is the single largest category given the way the 
taphonomic environments are split up, but if you were to look at them as 
ecological settings, then the coastal systems would be split into several 
categories and the lacustrine and fluvial plain deposits (for example) might 
very well have been pretty similar places to live. Perhaps I am missing 
something critical here (as I don’t do a lot of taphonomy), but it seems like 
the breakdown really says “usually preserved by water, and can be inland or 
marine, because there were all over the place”.



Michael Habib
Assistant Professor of Cell and Neurobiology
Keck School of Medicine of USC
University of Southern California
Bishop Research Building; Room 403
1333 San Pablo Street, Los Angeles 90089-9112

Research Associate, Dinosaur Institute
Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County
900 Exposition Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90007

(443) 280-0181

On Aug 18, 2014, at 7:31 AM, Ben Creisler <bcreisler@gmail.com> wrote:

> Ben Creisler
> bcreisler@gmail.com
> A new paper in open access:
> Alexander Averianov (2014)
> Review of taxonomy, geographic distribution, and paleoenvironments of
> Azhdarchidae (Pterosauria).
> ZooKeys 432: 1–107
> doi: 10.3897/zookeys.432.7913
> http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/7913/review-of-taxonomy-geographic-distribution-and-paleoenvironments-of-azhdarchidae-pterosauria-
> The taxonomy, geographic distribution, and paleoenvironmental context
> of azhdarchid pterosaurs are reviewed. All purported pteranodontid,
> tapejarid, and azhdarchid specimens from the Cenomanian Kem Kem beds
> of Morocco are referred to a single azhdarchid taxon, Alanqa saharica.
> The four proposed autapomorphies of Eurazhdarcho langendorfensis from
> the lower Maastrichtian Sebeş Formation of Romania are based on
> misinterpretations of material and this taxon is likely a subjective
> junior synonym of Hatzegopteryx thambema. Among 54 currently reported
> azhdarchid occurrences (51 skeletal remains and 3 tracks) 13% are from
> lacustrine deposits, 17% from fluvial plain deposits, 17% from coastal
> plain deposits, 18% from estuarine and lagoonal deposits, and 35% from
> costal marine deposits. Azhdarchids likely inhabited a variety of
> environments, but were abundant near large lakes and rivers and most
> common in nearshore marine paleoenvironments.
> News story:
> http://www.pensoft.net/journals/zookeys/article/7913/review-of-taxonomy-geographic-distribution-and-paleoenvironments-of-azhdarchidae-pterosauria-