Pricesaurus

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Pricesaurus (meaning "Price's lizard") is a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Albian-age Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation of Araripe, Brazil.

In 1986, Rafael Gioia Martins-Neto in a lecture during the 38th Reunião Anual da Sociedade Brasileira para o Progresso da Ciência at São Paulo, reported the find of a pterosaur, that he named Pricesaurus megalodon. The abstracts of the congress were subsequently published that year in the magazine Ciência e Cultura. The generic name honours Llewellyn Ivor Price. The specific name is derived from Greek μέγας, megas, "large", and ὀδών, odon, "tooth".[1]

The species is based on two syntypes, that Martins-Neto considered to have originated from a single individual animal, even though he had separately acquired them from commercial fossil dealers in two nodules: specimen CPCA 3592, the nine centimetres long point of a snout, and specimen CPCA 3591, the eighteen centimetres long middle part of a skull. Pricesaurus is thus exclusively known from cranial material. Both specimens were probably found in the Romualdo Member of the Araripe Basin and both are part of the collection of the Centro de Pesquisas Paleontológicas da Chapada do Araripe.[1]

Martins-Neto provided a diagnosis of four distinctive traits: the breadth of the premaxillae; the closely positioned teeth; the deep premaxillary tooth sockets; and the rounded front of the fenestra nasoantorbitalis. However, in 1988 Alexander Kellner concluded that Pricesaurus was a nomen vanum, primarily because the specimens almost certainly represented different individuals. The snout was, according to Kellner, from a larger animal than the middle skull. Also the diagnosis did not contain true autapomorphies.[2]

In 2012, a publication by Felipe Lima Pinheiro e.a. presented the first detailed study of the specimens. It was concluded that the fossils indeed came from different individuals, even though their size was not necessarily incompatible. The snout showed that the fifth and sixth tooth pairs are smaller than the fourth and seventh, making the specimen indistinguishable between Anhanguera blittersdorffi and Anhanguera piscator, which show the same tooth pattern. Both specimens were referred as a Anhanguera sp. Pinheiro e.a. considered Pricesaurus to be a nomen nudum, assuming this was the consequence of not possessing diagnostic traits and being named in an abstract.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Martins Neto, R.G. (1986). Pricesaurus megalodon nov. gen. nov. sp. (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea), Cretaceo Inferior, chapada do Araripe (NE-Brasil). Ciência e Cultura 38(7): 756-757 [Portuguese]
  2. ^ Kellner A.W.A. & Campos D.A., 1988, "Sobre um novo pterossauro com crista sagital da Bacia do Araripe, Cretáceo Inferior do Nordeste do Brasil", Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 60: 460-469
  3. ^ Felipe Lima Pinheiro, Cesar Leandro Schultz, Rafael Gioia Martins-Neto† & José Artur Ferreira Gomes de Andrade, 2012, "What is “Pricesaurus megalodon”? Reassessment of an enigmatic pterosaur", Revista Brasileira de Paleontologia, 15(3): 262-272