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Cearadactylus (Early Cretaceous pterosaur from Brazil) redescribed



From: Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A paper in the new JVP:


Bruno C. Vila Nova, Juliana M. Sayão, Virgínio H. M. L. Neumann &
Alexander W. A. Kellner (2014)
Redescription of Cearadactylus atrox (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea)
from the Early Cretaceous Romualdo Formation (Santana Group) of the
Araripe Basin, Brazil.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology 34(1): 126-134
DOI:10.1080/02724634.2013.793694
http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02724634.2013.793694#.Uswng_RDty8

Based on one of the first cranial pterosaur specimens unearthed from
the Romualdo Formation (Araripe Basin), Cearadactylus atrox has caused
disagreement among paleontologists regarding its relationships.
Ranging from an ornithocheirid, an indeterminated pterodactyloid, to a
ctenochasmatid, some authors even regarded this species as
representing a distinct suprageneric clade. Further preparation of the
holotype that was transferred to the collections of the Museu
Nacional/UFRJ (MN 7019-V) revealed several new features allowing a
redescription and reevaluation of the phylogenetic position of this
species. Among the new observations, it is clear that the rostral end
of this specimen had been glued to the skull, rendering previous
anatomical interpretations incorrect. There is no rostral gap, and the
expanded rostral end of the premaxillae is larger than the dentary,
rather than smaller. Cearadactylus atrox is here considered a valid
taxon that can be diagnosed by a dentary groove that bifurcates at the
rostral end, orbit and naris in a high position relative to the
nasoantorbital fenestra, and a comparatively small number of teeth
(32–36 maxillary, 22–26 mandibular), decreasing in size towards the
posterior end. Phylogeneticaly, it is placed as the sister group of
the Anhangueridae, forming a large clade of Brazilian forms
(Tropeognathus and Anhanguera), which has a European taxon
(‘Ornithocheirus’ compressirostris) as its sister group.