Batrachognathus

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Batrachognathus
Temporal range: Late Jurassic
Batrachognathus volans.jpg
Skeletal restoration of the holotype
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Family: Anurognathidae
Clade: Asiaticognathidae
Genus: Batrachognathus
Species: † B. volans
Binomial name
Batrachognathus volans
Ryabinin, 1948

Batrachognathus is an extinct genus of "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaur from the Late Jurassic (Oxfordian - Kimmeridgian) Karabastau Svita of the central Asian republic of Kazakhstan. The genus was named in 1948 by the Russian paleontologist Anatoly Nicolaevich Ryabinin. The type species is Batrachognathus volans. The genus name is derived from Greek batrakhos, "frog" and gnathos, "jaw", in reference to the short wide head. The specific epithet means "flying" in Latin.

Description[edit]

Three fossils have been found in a lacustrine sediment in the North-West Tien Shan foothills of the Karatau Mountains. In the Jurassic this area had some similarities in habitat to the Solnhofen lagoon deposits in Bavaria, Germany. The genus is based on holotype PIN 52-2, an incomplete and disarticulated skeleton consisting of skull fragments, jaws, vertebrae, ribs, legs and wing bones. The skull of 48 mm (1.9 in) long is high, short and broad. The upper jaws have in total 22 or 24 recurved conical teeth; with the lower jaws they make a short and very wide mouth. The animal is not preserved with a tail. Whether it had one is debatable; usually it is assumed a short tail was present. The wingspan has been estimated at 50 cm (20 in); David Unwin in 2000 gave a higher estimate of 75 cm (30 in).Like all anurognathids Batrachognathus is assumed to have been an insectivore, catching insects on the wing with its broad mouth.

Classification[edit]

Batrachognathus was assigned to the Anurognathidae, as a relative of Anurognathus. In 2003 it was joined with the Asian anurognathids Dendrorhynchoides and Jeholopterus in a clade Asiaticognathidae by Alexander Kellner. According to an analysis in 2006 by Lü Junchang Batrachognathus and Jeholopterus were sister taxa.


References[edit]

  • Dinosaurs and other Prehistoric Creatures, edited by Ingrid Cranfield, 2000 Salamander Books Ltd pg 280-281.
  • Ryabinin A. N., 1948, "Remarks on a flying reptile from the Jurassic of the Kara-Tau", Akademia Nauk, Paleontological Institute, Trudy, 15(1): 86-93