Arthurdactylus

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Arthurdactylus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 112Ma
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ornithocheiridae
Genus: Arthurdactylus
Species: A. conandoylei
Binomial name
Arthurdactylus conandoylei
Frey,E. & Martill, D.M., 1994

Arthurdactylus is a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Lower Cretaceous Crato Member, Santana Formation of northeastern Brazil. It was a large animal, with a wingspan of 4.6 meters (15 ft).

It was in 1994 named by Eberhard Frey and David Martill in honor of Arthur Conan Doyle, who featured large reptilian pterosaurs in his novel The Lost World, about a professor finding prehistoric animals still alive on a plateau in South-America. They first spelled the species name as Arthurdactylus conan-doylei, thus with a forbidden diacritic sign, and themselves carried out the necessary emendation to conandoylei in 1998. The holotype is SMNK 1132 PAL, a reasonably complete skeleton, lacking only a skull, neck, sternum and some caudal vertebrae. The specimen, adult or nearly so, was preserved on a plate and is slightly crushed. Arthurdactylus had, compared to the torso length of 22 centimetres, relatively long wings and especially long wing fingers, perhaps much more so than any other pterodactyloid. The hind limbs are however, weakly developed.

The describers assigned Arthurdactylus to the Ornithocheiridae. According to Brazilian paleontologist Alexander Kellner, who uses this concept in a different sense, Arthurdactylus can be best indicated as closely related to the Anhangueridae.

Literature[edit]

  • Frey E. and Martill D. M. (1994), "A new Pterosaur from the Crato Formation (Lower Cretaceous, Aptian) of Brazil", Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie, Abhandlungen 194: 379–412

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