Ornithocheiroidea

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Ornithocheiroids
Temporal range: Early - Late Cretaceous, 130–75Ma
Possible Middle Jurassic record
Coloborhynchus spielbergi2.jpg
Skeletal cast of a Coloborhynchus spielbergi
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Clade: Caelidracones
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Infraorder: Eupterodactyloidea
Clade: Ornithocheiroidea
Seeley, 1870
Subgroups

Ornithocheiroidea is a group of pterosaurs within the extinct suborder Pterodactyloidea.

Locomotion[edit]

Ornithocheiroids, like other pterosaurs, are considered to have been skilled fliers as well as adept at moving on the ground. Evidence from footprints shows that most pterosaurs did not sprawl their limbs to a large degree, as in modern reptiles, but rather held the limbs relatively erect when walking, like dinosaurs. While no ornithocheiroid footprints are known, it is likely that they also walked erect.[1] Among pterosaurs, ornithocheiroids had unusually uneven limb proportions, with the forelimbs much longer than the hind limbs. This would likely have required them to use unique modes of locomotion when on the ground compared to other pterosaurs. It is possible that ornithocheiroids ran (but not walked) bipedally, or that they used a hopping gait.[1] Pterosaur researcher Mike Habib has noted that the limbs proportions of ornithocheiroids like Anhanguera are consistent with hopping.[2]

Ornithocheiroids were among the last of the world's pterosaur faunas. The species Piksi barbarulna and a few potential pteranodonts and nyctosaurs have all been found dating from the Campanian to the Maastrichtian ages of the Late Cretaceous period.[3]

Classification[edit]

Below is a cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic analysis presented by Andres & Myers, 2013.[4] For alternate cladograms, see List of pterosaur classifications.

 Ornithocheiroidea 
 Pteranodontia 

Nyctosauridae




Alamodactylus


 Pteranodontoidea 

Pteranodon




Istiodactylidae




Lonchodectes




Aetodactylus




Cearadactylus




Brasileodactylus




Ludodactylus




Anhangueridae



 Ornithocheiridae












 Azhdarchoidea 


Bennettazhia




Nemicolopterus




"Sinopterus" gui



Tapejaridae





 Neoazhdarchia 


Chaoyangopteridae




Radiodactylus



Azhdarchidae






Thalassodromidae



Dsungaripteridae






References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Witton, M.P. and Habib, M.B. (2010). "On the Size and Flight Diversity of Giant Pterosaurs, the Use of Birds as Pterosaur Analogues and Comments on Pterosaur Flightlessness." PLoS ONE, 5(11): e13982. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013982
  2. ^ Habib, M. (2011). "Dinosaur Revolution: Anhanguera." H2VP: Paleobiomechanics. Weblog entry, 20-SEP-2011. Accessed 28-SEP-2011: http://h2vp.blogspot.com/2011/09/dinosaur-revolution-anhanguera.html
  3. ^ Federico L. Agnolin and David Varricchio (2012). "Systematic reinterpretation of Piksi barbarulna Varricchio, 2002 from the Two Medicine Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Western USA (Montana) as a pterosaur rather than a bird". Geodiversitas 34 (4): 883–894. doi:10.5252/g2012n4a10. 
  4. ^ Andres, B.; Myers, T. S. (2013). "Lone Star Pterosaurs". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: 1. doi:10.1017/S1755691013000303.  edit