Thursday, November 2, 2017

[Paleontology • 2017] Gigantic Pterosaurian Remains from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia

Mongol Giant
 Artwork by  Joschua Knüppe | Studio 252MYA |

Fragmentary cervical vertebral elements of a gigantic pterosaur are described from the upper Campanian–Maastrichtian Nemegt Formation in the Gobi Desert. With an estimated width of a posterior centrum across the postexapophyses of 198 mm, this taxon represents one of the largest pterosaurs currently known. This is the first discovery of a pterosaur from the Nemegt Formation, adding further evidence that gigantic pterosaurs were widely distributed in Eurasia and North America during the latest Cretaceous.

 PTEROSAURIA Owen, 1842 
?AZHDARCHIDAE Nessov, 1984 

Gen. et sp. indet.

Locality: Gurilin Tsav, western Gobi Desert, Mongolia.
 Formation/Age: Nemegt Formation, Upper Cretaceous (upper Campanian–lower Maastrichtian to Maastrichtian). 

Three vertebral elements, one centrum, and two fragmentary neural arches (MPC-D 100/116, 100/117, and 100/118), were found in close proximity to one another in the same horizon and were thus presumably derived from a single individual.


Takanobu Tsuihiji, Brian Andres, Patrick M. O'connor, Mahito Watabe, Khishigjav Tsogtbaatar and Buuvei Mainbayar. 2017. Gigantic Pterosaurian Remains from the Upper Cretaceous of Mongolia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. DOI:    10.1080/02724634.2017.1361431 

Ancient Winged Terror Was One of the Largest Animals to Fly via @NatGeo

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