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Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: the Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny: the problem of cryptic pterosaur taxa in early ontogeny

Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: the Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny: the problem of cryptic pterosaur taxa in early ontogeny
Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: the Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny: the problem of cryptic pterosaur taxa in early ontogeny
The taxonomy of the Late Jurassic pterodactyloid pterosaur Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 from the Solnhofen Limestone Formation of Bavaria, Germany is reviewed. Its nomenclatural history is long and complex, having been synonymised with both P. kochi (Wagner, 1837), and P. antiquus (Sömmerring, 1812). The majority of pterosaur species from the Solnhofen Limestone, including P. scolopaciceps are represented by juveniles. Consequently, specimens can appear remarkably similar due to juvenile characteristics detracting from taxonomic differences that are exaggerated in later ontogeny. Previous morphological and morphometric analyses have failed to separate species or even genera due to this problem, and as a result many species have been subsumed into a single taxon. A hypodigm for P. scolopaciceps, comprising of the holotype (BSP AS V 29 a/b) and material Broili referred to the taxon is described. P. scolopaciceps is found to be a valid taxon, but placement within Pterodactylus is inappropriate. Consequently, the new genus Aerodactylus is erected to accommodate it. Aerodactylus can be diagnosed on account of a unique suite of characters including jaws containing 16 teeth per-jaw, per-side, which are more sparsely distributed caudally and terminate rostral to the nasoantorbital fenestra; dorsal surface of the skull is subtly depressed rostral of the cranial table; rostrum very elongate (RI = ∼7), terminating in a point; orbits correspondingly low and elongate; elongate cervical vertebrae (approximately three times the length of their width); wing-metacarpal elongate, but still shorter than the ulna and first wing-phalanx; and pteroid approximately 65% of the total length of the ulna, straight and extremely thin (less than one third the width of the ulna). A cladistic analysis demonstrates that Aerodactylus is distinct from Pterodactylus, but close to Cycnorhamphus Seeley, 1870, Ardeadactylus Bennett, 2013a and Aurorazhdarcho Frey, Meyer and Tischlinger, 2011, consequently we erect the inclusive taxon Aurorazhdarchidae for their reception.
1932-6203
1-16
Vidovic, Steven
abba74b7-4c91-4f08-b8f1-4d9e836a43e4
Martill, David
af9d62c2-64f7-43bc-8d54-d21c26dc0b90
Vidovic, Steven
abba74b7-4c91-4f08-b8f1-4d9e836a43e4
Martill, David
af9d62c2-64f7-43bc-8d54-d21c26dc0b90

Vidovic, Steven and Martill, David (2014) Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) from the Upper Jurassic of Bavaria, Germany: the Problem of Cryptic Pterosaur Taxa in Early Ontogeny: the problem of cryptic pterosaur taxa in early ontogeny. PLoS ONE, 9 (10), 1-16. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0110646).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The taxonomy of the Late Jurassic pterodactyloid pterosaur Pterodactylus scolopaciceps Meyer, 1860 from the Solnhofen Limestone Formation of Bavaria, Germany is reviewed. Its nomenclatural history is long and complex, having been synonymised with both P. kochi (Wagner, 1837), and P. antiquus (Sömmerring, 1812). The majority of pterosaur species from the Solnhofen Limestone, including P. scolopaciceps are represented by juveniles. Consequently, specimens can appear remarkably similar due to juvenile characteristics detracting from taxonomic differences that are exaggerated in later ontogeny. Previous morphological and morphometric analyses have failed to separate species or even genera due to this problem, and as a result many species have been subsumed into a single taxon. A hypodigm for P. scolopaciceps, comprising of the holotype (BSP AS V 29 a/b) and material Broili referred to the taxon is described. P. scolopaciceps is found to be a valid taxon, but placement within Pterodactylus is inappropriate. Consequently, the new genus Aerodactylus is erected to accommodate it. Aerodactylus can be diagnosed on account of a unique suite of characters including jaws containing 16 teeth per-jaw, per-side, which are more sparsely distributed caudally and terminate rostral to the nasoantorbital fenestra; dorsal surface of the skull is subtly depressed rostral of the cranial table; rostrum very elongate (RI = ∼7), terminating in a point; orbits correspondingly low and elongate; elongate cervical vertebrae (approximately three times the length of their width); wing-metacarpal elongate, but still shorter than the ulna and first wing-phalanx; and pteroid approximately 65% of the total length of the ulna, straight and extremely thin (less than one third the width of the ulna). A cladistic analysis demonstrates that Aerodactylus is distinct from Pterodactylus, but close to Cycnorhamphus Seeley, 1870, Ardeadactylus Bennett, 2013a and Aurorazhdarcho Frey, Meyer and Tischlinger, 2011, consequently we erect the inclusive taxon Aurorazhdarchidae for their reception.

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Vidovic & Martill 2014 - Version of Record
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Submitted date: 14 April 2014
Accepted/In Press date: 9 September 2014
Published date: 22 October 2014

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Local EPrints ID: 423002
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/423002
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: e8c31c61-c81d-4f4a-80ec-3f44a42d8404
ORCID for Steven Vidovic: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-4726-8018

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Date deposited: 09 Aug 2018 16:30
Last modified: 27 Apr 2022 02:12

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Author: Steven Vidovic ORCID iD
Author: David Martill

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