Istiodactylidae

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Istiodactylidae
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 125–120Ma
Possible Middle Jurassic record
IstiodactylusDB3.jpg
Life restoration of Istiodactylus latidens
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Clade: Pteranodontoidea
Family: Istiodactylidae
Howse, Milner & Martill, 2001
Type species
Ornithodesmus latidens
Hooley, 1913
Genera

Istiodactylidae is a small family of pterosaurs. This family was named in 2001 after the type genus Istiodactylus was discovered not to be a member of the genus Ornithodesmus.

Istiodactylid skulls: A) Istiodactylus latidens (NHMUK R3877) (B) Istiodactylus sinensis (NGMC 99-07-11) and (C) Nurhachius ignaciobritoi (IVPP V-13288)

Remains of taxa that can be confidently assigned to Istiodactylidae have been found in the UK and China, in rocks dating from the Early Cretaceous period (Barremian to Aptian stage).[1] Arbour and Currie (2011) described Canadian Gwawinapterus beardi as a member of Istiodactylidae living in the late Cretaceous (upper Campanian stage);[2] however, Witton (2012) suggested the tooth replacement pattern in this animal does not match that of pterosaurs, suggesting that the species might be non-pterosaurian.[1] Additional research suggested that the species was in fact a fish.[3] The earliest known species might be Archaeoistiodactylus linglongtaensis, from the Middle Jurassic of China;[4] however, it also has been suggested that the holotype specimen of this species might actually be a poorly preserved specimen of Darwinopterus.[5] Hongshanopterus, a supposed istiodactylid from China, has been reclassified as a non-istiodactylid member of Ornithocheroidea of uncertain phylogenetic placement by Witton (2012).[1]

Istiodactylids were medium sized pterosaurs with flat, rounded jaws similar to that of a duck. They had small teeth lining their jaws, however.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Mark P. Witton (2012). "New Insights into the Skull of Istiodactylus latidens (Ornithocheiroidea, Pterodactyloidea)". PLoS ONE 7 (3): e33170. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0033170. 
  2. ^ Arbour, V.M. and Currie, P.J. (2011). "An istiodactylid pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Group, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada." Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 48(1): 63-69. doi:10.1139/E10-083
  3. ^ Vullo, R., Buffetaut, E. and Everhart, M.J. (2012). "Reappraisal of Gwawinapterus beardi from the Late Cretaceous of Canada: a saurodontid fish, not a pterosaur." Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 32(5): 1198-1201. doi:10.1080/02724634.2012.681078
  4. ^ Lü, J. and Fucha, X. (2010). "A new pterosaur (Pterosauria) from Middle Jurassic Tiaojishan Formation of western Liaoning, China." Global Geology, Z1: 113-118.
  5. ^ David M. Martill and Steve Etches (2012). "A new monofenestratan pterosaur from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Upper Jurassic, Kimmeridgian) of Dorset, England". Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. in press. doi:10.4202/app.2011.0071.