Monday, October 12, 2015

[Paleontology • 2015] Linlongopterus jennyae • A New Toothed Pteranodontoid (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Jiufotang Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) of China and comments on Liaoningopterus gui Wang and Zhou, 2003

Linlongopterus jennyae  Rodrigues, Jiang, Cheng, Wang & Kellner, 2015
Figure 1. General view of specimen IVPP V15549, holotype of Linlongopterus jennyae gen. et sp. nov.
 (A) Photograph;(B) respective line drawing. afo, adductor fossa; art, articular; d, dentary; j, jugal; l, left; m, maxilla; naof, nasoantorbital fenestra; pl,palatine; pm, premaxilla; pty, pterygoid; q, quadrate; qj, quadratojugal; r, right; te, teeth. Scale bar: 50 mm.
Figure 2. Line drawing reconstruction of the skull and mandible of Linlongopterus jennyae based on holotype IVPP V15549. Preservedbones in white. Scale bar: 50 mm.

Pteranodontoids consist of a diverse and cosmopolitan clade of Cretaceous pterodactyloid pterosaurs. In the Jiufotang Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) of northeastern China, pterodactyloids are represented by azhdarchoids and pteranodontoids, including istiodactylids and anhanguerians. Here, we describe a new pterosaur from this unit that represents a new species of toothed pteranodontoid. Its overall morphology is consistent with other toothed pteranodontoids but shows some interesting features such as the orbit being more ventrally positioned than in all other species from this clade. It differs markedly from all other pterosaurs from this unit, including Liaoningopterus, Guidraco and Ikrandraco, with which the new taxon is possibly related. In addition to the description of the new taxon, we also describe the anhanguerid Liaoningopterus gui in more detail. The new species, Liaoningopterus gui, Guidraco venator and Ikrandraco avatar, are large pterosaurs with very distinct tooth morphologies, suggesting that they had different prey preferences, partially explaining how the Jiufotang Formation could bear such a high diversity of pterosaur species.

Keywords: Lower Cretaceous, Jiufotang Formation, China, Pterosauria, Linlongopterus, Liaoningopterus

Systematic palaeontology

Pterosauria  Kaup, 1834
Pterodactyloidea  Plieninger, 1901
Pteranodontoidea  Marsh, 1876, sensu Kellner, 2003

Linlongopterus jennyae  gen. et sp. nov.

Linlongopterus  gen. nov. Type species

Etymology: . From the Chinese words lin, meaning forest, and long, dragon; and pteros, from the Greek meaning wing.

 Linlongopterus jennyae  sp. nov.

Etymology: Species name in honour of the late Elfriede Kellner, also known as Jenny, a great supporter of palaeontological studies.

 Holotype: IVPP V15549, partial associated skull andmandible, deposited at the IVPP in Beijing, China.

 Locality and horizon: Jianchang, Jianchang County,western Liaoning Province, China. Jiufotang Formation, Aptian (120 Ma) (He et al. 2004)

Taissa Rodrigues, Shunxing Jiang, Xin Cheng, Xiaolin Wang and Alexander W.A. Kellner. 2015. A New Toothed Pteranodontoid (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Jiufotang Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) of China and comments on Liaoningopterus gui Wang and Zhou, 2003. Historical Biology: An International Journal of Paleobiology. [Special Issue: RIO PTEROSAUR] 27(6); 782-795. DOI: 10.1080/08912963.2015.1033417