Elanodactylus

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Elanodactylus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 124.6 Ma
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ctenochasmatidae
Genus: Elanodactylus
Andres & Ji, 2008
Species: E. prolatus
Binomial name
Elanodactylus prolatus
Andres & Ji, 2008

Elanodactylus (meaning "Kite finger") is a genus of ctenochasmatid pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous (early Aptian) Yixian Formation of Liaoning, China.

The genus was named in 2008 by Brian Andres and Ji Qiang. The type species is Elanodactylus prolatus. The genus name is derived from the Kite genus Elanus, in reference to the long wings, and Greek daktylos, "finger", referring to the wing finger of pterosaurs. The specific name means "elongated" in Latin, in reference to the elongated cervical vertebrae.

It is known from a partial postcranial skeleton, holotype NGMC 99-07-1, preserving the wings, sternum, shoulder girdle, ribs, cervical and dorsal vertebrae. The wingspan was about 2.5 metres. The neck vertebrae are similar to those of azhdarchids, long-necked giant pterosaurs most common in the Late Cretaceous, but is otherwise distinct from the skeletons of azhdarchids. Andres and Ji performed a phylogenetic analysis and found that Elanodactylus was a ctenochasmatid. They postulated that ctenochasmatids and azhdarchids convergently evolved similar neck vertebrae.[1]

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References[edit]

  1. ^ Andres, B.; Ji Q. (2008). "A new pterosaur from the Liaoning Province of China, the phylogeny of the Pterodactyloidea, and convergence in their cervical vertebrae". Palaeontology. 51 (2): 453–469. doi:10.1111/j.1475-4983.2008.00761.x.