Temporal range: Late Cretaceous, 92 Ma
|Partial wing of Cretornis hlavaci|
Ornithocheirus hlavaci (Fritsch, 1881)
Cretornis is a pterosaur genus containing the single species Cretornis hlavaci. It is known from a complete 3-inch-long (76 mm) humerus (upper arm bone) and other wing bones found in late Cretaceous period (Turonian) rocks from Czech Republic, dating to about 92 million years ago. Based on comparison with its relatives, the wingspan of C. hlavaci has been estimated at 1.5–1.6 metres (4.9–5.2 ft).
The specimen was found by the pharmacist Hlaváč at Zářecká Lhota near the town of Choceň in 1880. In 1881, the Czech naturalist Antonín Frič named it as the type species Cretornis Hlaváči. The generic name is derived from Latin creta, "chalk", in reference to the Cretaceous, and Greek ὄρνις, ornis, "bird", as Frič thought the bones belonged to some ancient bird. The specific name honours Hlaváč. Afterwards it was realised that the find represented some pterosaur. The name was incorrectly emended by Richard Lydekker into Ornithochirus hlavatschi in 1888.
While it has often been classified as a species in the genus Ornithocheirus, more detailed comparisons of the wing bones showed that they belonged to a non-azhdarchid azhdarchoid, probably a member of the group Neoazhdarchia. It is probably more advanced than the thalassodromids, and shares many features in common with Montanazhdarcho.
- Averianov, A.O. (2010). "The osteology of Azhdarcho lancicollis Nessov, 1984 (Pterosauria, Azhdarchidae) from the Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan." Proceedings of the Zoological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, 314(3): 246-317.
- Averianov, A.; Ekrt, B. (2015). "Cretornis hlavaci Frič, 1881 from the Upper Cretaceous of Czech Republic (Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea)". Cretaceous Research. 55: 164. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2015.02.011.
- Fritsch, A., 1880, "Ueber die Entdeckung von Vogelresten in der böhmischen Kreideformation (Cretornis Hlaváči)", Sitzungsberichte der königlichen-böhmischen Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften in Prag 1880: 275-276
- R. Lydekker. 1888. Catalogue of the Fossil Reptilia and Amphibia in the British Museum (Natural History). Part I, Containing the Orders Ornithosauria, Crocodilia, Dinosauria, Squamata, Rhynchocephalia, and Proterosauria. British Museum (Natural History), London 309 pp
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