Maria E. C. Leal, Rodrigo V. Pêgas, Niels Bonde and Alexander W. A. Kellner (2017)
Cervical vertebrae of an enigmatic pterosaur from the Crato Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Araripe Basin, NE Brazil).
Geological Society, London, Special Publication SP455: New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology (advance online publication)
The Brazilian Crato Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) is well known for its rich pterosaur fauna. This paper deals with a new find represented by four articulated mid-cervical vertebrae. The vertebrae show a morphology consistent with that seen in the Chaoyangopteridae, especially the relative elongation, low neural spines, lack of pneumatic foramina on the lateral face of the centra and the presence of well-developed postexapophyses. Chaoyangopterids are, so far, represented with confidence only in Chinese deposits; the only record outside the Jehol Group is the Crato Formation form Lacusovagus magnificens, a partial skull whose assignment to the Chaoyangopteridae has been disputed. Given this controversy, we review the phylogenetic position of Lacusovagus, and discuss the nesting of our new specimen among the Chaoyangopteridae, providing some comments concerning the composition of the group. We conclude that our new specimen provides further support for the presence of chaoyangopterids in the Early Cretaceous of Brazil.