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Pterodaustro braincase anatomy

Ben Creisler

A new paper:

Laura Codorniú, Ariana Paulina-Carabajal & Federico A. Gianechini (2015)
Braincase anatomy of Pterodaustro guinazui, pterodactyloid pterosaur
from the Lower Cretaceous of Argentina.
Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology (advance publication)

Citing articles: 0The braincase anatomy of pterosaurs is poorly known
because this region of the skull is rarely preserved, particularly in
basal pterodactyloid pterosaurs (Archaeopterodactyloidea). We present
new information on the braincase morphology of the Early Cretaceous
Argentinean ctenochasmatid Pterodaustro guinazui. Morphological
information collected from several specimens permits the description
of many features of this area of the skull for the first time. The
braincase of Pterodaustro is characterized by a skull roof with
subtriangular, elongated frontals and rounded, posteroventrally
oriented parietals; low nuchal crest; ossified ethmoidal elements;
ossified interorbital septum; short and fan-shaped paroccipital
processes with undulating lateral and medial surfaces; occipital
condyle formed mainly by the exoccipitals; fork-shaped basioccipital;
long, anteroventrally directed basisphenoid body with keeled ventral
surface and short basipterygoid processes; well-developed rostral
tympanic recess; rod-like columella; and separate foramina for cranial
nerves XII and IX–XI within a common subdivided recess. We were able
to identify foramina for cranial nerves II, V, VI, and VII; vascular
foramina, such as the caudal middle cerebral vein, the dorsal head
vein, and the internal carotid artery; and the columellar recess. This
research reveals many features of the braincase of Pterodaustro—some
of which are considered potential autapomorphies—for the first time.
It also provides new insights into the neurocranial anatomy of
pterosaurs, and in turn, contributes to the understanding of the
evolution of the braincase in Pterosauria.