Friday, July 27, 2012

[Paleontology • 1994] Zhejiangopterus linhaiensis • a new pterosaur from Upper Cretaceous in Linhai, Zhejiang, China

The text describes a new genus and species of pterosaur from Late Cretaceous sediments around the municipality of Linhai, Zhejiang Province: Zhejiangopterus linhaiensis gen. et sp. nov. which morphologically approaches Nyctosaurus from the Upper Cretaceous Santonian Stage of Kansas, in the U.S. The new taxon is thereby assigned to the family Nyctosauridae.

via ~eurwentala @ DeviantArt

Cai, Z., and Wei, F. 1994. On a new pterosaur (Zhejiangopterus linhaiensis gen. et sp. nov.) from Upper Cretaceous in Linhai, Zhejiang, China. Vertebrata Palasiatica, 32: 181-194.

Unwin, D. & Lü J. 1997. On Zhejiangopterus and the relationships of Pterodactyloid Pterosaurs. Historical Biology, 12, p. 200 DOI:10.1080/08912969709386563

A summary of recent studies on the interrelationships of pterodactyloid pterosaurs is used as a framework for reassessing the taxonomic status of Zhejiangopterus, a new, long‐necked, Late Cretaceous pterosaur from China that has been assigned to the Nyctosauridae. Characters cited in support of this decision include: a notarium, edentulous jaws, and lack of a cranial crest. However, none of these is diagnostic of the Nyctosauridae. Zhejiangopterus exhibits a number of derived characters (orbit relatively small and located in a low position, posteroventrally facing occiput, features of the humerus and ‘T‐shaped’ cross‐section of wing phalanges two and three) only otherwise found in azhdarchids, thus we propose that Zhejiangopterus be reassigned to the Azhdarchidae.

Key words: Pterosaur, Zhejiangopterus, Taxonomy, Phylogeny, Cretaceous, China