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Ikrandraco, new crested pterosaur from Early Cretaceous of China (free pdf)



Ben Creisler
bcreisler@gmail.com


A new paper in open access:

Xiaolin Wang, Taissa Rodrigues, Shunxing Jiang, Xin Cheng & Alexander
W. A. Kellner (2014)
An Early Cretaceous pterosaur with an unusual mandibular crest from
China and a potential novel feeding strategy.
Scientific Reports 4, Article number: 6329
doi:10.1038/srep06329
http://www.nature.com/srep/2014/140911/srep06329/full/srep06329.html


The Aptian Jiufotang Formation of northeast China is a Konservat
Lagerstätte particularly rich in pterosaurs, notably azhdarchoids.
Here we describe a new genus and species of toothed pteranodontoid
pterosaur, Ikrandraco avatar gen. et sp. nov., based on two laterally
flattened specimens. Ikrandraco avatar is diagnosed by a suite of
features, including a very low and elongate skull, strongly inclined
quadrate, and a deep, blade-like bony mandibular crest with a
hook-like process on its posterior edge, an unusual structure so far
unique to this taxon. The particular skull shape hints at a distinct
feeding habit for pterosaurs that potentially includes temporary
skimming and an extensible skin acting as a throat pouch that was more
developed than in any other pterosaur known so far. The presence of
two other taxa of purported piscivorous pterosaurs in the Jiufotang
Formation suggests distinct resource exploitation in this part of
China during the Early Cretaceous.