Pterodactyloidea

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Pterodactyloids
Temporal range: Middle Jurassic-Late Cretaceous, 166–66Ma
Cast of a Pterodactylus antiquus specimen, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Clade: Caelidracones
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Plieninger, 1901
Subgroups
Synonyms

Dracochira Haeckel, 1895
Lophocratia Unwin, 2003

Pterodactyloidea (derived from the Greek words πτερόν (pterón, for usual ptéryx) "wing", and δάκτυλος (dáctylos) "finger" meaning "winged finger", "wing-finger" or "finger-wing") forms one of the two suborders of pterosaurs ("wing lizards"), and contains the most derived members of this group of flying reptiles. They appeared during the middle Jurassic Period, and differ from the basal rhamphorhynchoidea by their short tails and long wing metacarpals (hand bones). The most advanced forms also lack teeth. Many species had well developed crests on the skull, a form of display taken to extremes in giant-crested forms like Nyctosaurus and Tupandactylus. Pterodactyloids (specifically the family Azhdarchidae) were the last surviving pterosaurs when the order became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period, together with the non-avian dinosaurs and most marine reptiles.

"Pterodactyl" is also a common term for pterodactyloid pterosaurs, though it can also be used to refer to Pterodactylus specifically or (incorrectly) to pterosaurs in general. Well-known examples of pterodactyloids include Pterodactylus, Dsungaripterus, Pteranodon, and Quetzalcoatlus.

The earliest known pterodactyloid fossils are those recovered from the Stonesfield Slate formation (UK), which dates to the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic, dated to about 166 million years ago. These specimens likely represent members of the family Ctenochasmatidae.[1]

Classification[edit]

Below is a cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic analysis presented by Andres & Myers, 2013.[2] For alternate cladograms, see List of pterosaur classifications.

 Caelidracones 

Anurognathidae


 Pterodactyloidea 
Archaeopterodactyloidea 

Germanodactylidae


 Euctenochasmatia 

Pterodactylus




Ardeadactylus


 Ctenochasmatoidea 

Gallodactylidae



Ctenochasmatidae






Eupterodactyloidea 

Haopterus


 Ornithocheiroidea 
 Pteranodontia 

Nyctosauridae




Alamodactylus


 Pteranodontoidea 

Pteranodon




Istiodactylidae




Lonchodectes




Aetodactylus




Cearadactylus




Brasileodactylus




Ludodactylus




Anhangueridae



 Ornithocheiridae












 Azhdarchoidea 


Bennettazhia




Nemicolopterus




"Sinopterus" gui



Tapejaridae





 Neoazhdarchia 


Chaoyangopteridae




Radiodactylus



Azhdarchidae




 Dsungarimorpha 

Thalassodrominae



Dsungaripteridae









References[edit]

  1. ^ Buffetaut, E. and Jeffrey, P. (2012). "A ctenochasmatid pterosaur from the Stonesfield Slate (Bathonian, Middle Jurassic) of Oxfordshire, England." Geological Magazine, (advance online publication) doi:10.1017/S0016756811001154
  2. ^ 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