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Thalassodromeus (pterosaur) species found on Hateg Island, Cretaceous of Romania



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com

A new paper:

Gerald Grellet-Tinner & Vlad A. Codrea (2014)
Thalassodromeus sebesensis, an out of place and out of time Gondwanan
tapejarid pterosaur.
Gondwana Research (advance online publication)
DOI: 10.1016/j.gr.2014.06.002
http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1342937X1400210X




Highlights
Thalassodromeus sebesensis is the first European thalassodromine pterosaur
T. sebesensis isthe first thalassodromine pterosaur outside Gondwana
T. sebesensis is out of time by 42 million years or more



Abstract
We report here the first occurrence of a small pterosaur,
Thalassodromeus sebesensis from the Maastrichtian Hateg Island. This
new species with its significantly expanded premaxillary crest extends
the known distribution of this genus from South America to Europe.
Furthermore, this important discovery doubles the thalassadromine
fossil record and demonstrates a 42 million years temporal
displacement from its older Aptian Gondwanan congener Thalassodromeus
sethi. Thalassodromeus sebesensis sp. nov. is diagnosed by an unusual
expanded premaxillary crest and synapomorphies shared only with its
Brazilian congener, T. sethi. Yet, the new specimen displays enough
autapomorphic characters to erect a new thalassodromine species. The
discovery of Thalassodromeus sebesensis in an exposure known for its
diverse angiosperm assemblage lends more support to the tapejarid and
flowering plants co-evolution. It also suggests this new small
thalassadromine was a forest dweller, as such possibly not competing
with the known giant azhdarchid pterosaurs on this island. Moreover,
its presence in this insular ecosystem confirms once more the aberrant
nature of the Late Cretaceous Hateg island-dwelling endemic fauna.