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Germanodactylus spec 01.JPG
Fossil specimen of Germanodactylus cristatus
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Germanodactylidae
Yang, 1964
Type species
Pterodactylus cristatus
Wiman, 1925

See text.

Germanodactylidae is a controversial group of pterosaurs within the suborder Pterodactyloidea. It was first named by Yang Zhongjian in 1964, and given a formal phylogenetic definition in 2014 by Brian Andres, James Clark, and Xu Xing. They defined it as the least inclusive clade containing Germanodactylus cristatus and Normannognathus wellnhoferi, which they considered to be close relatives at the time.[1] However, more recent studies by the same researchers have found that these pterosaurs may be only distantly related.

Studies performed in the 2000s suggested this group it contained three genera: Germanodactylus, Normannognathus and Tendaguripterus. Various studies have since placed these pterosaurs within the larger clades Archaeopterodactyloidea, Eupterodactyloidea, or Dsungaripteroidea,[2] though it has also been recovered within the Ctenochasmatoidea.[3][1][4] In several 2010s studies, the supposed "germanodactylid" species were not necessarily found to form a natural group with each other, and even the genus Germanodactylus itself was discovered to be likely paraphyletic, causing one of its component species to be renamed Altmuehlopterus. This would render the name Germanodactylidae synonymous with some other clade, such as Archaeopterodactyloidea or Lophocratia.[5][6]


  1. ^ a b Andres, B.; Clark, J.; Xu, X. (2014). "The Earliest Pterodactyloid and the Origin of the Group". Current Biology. 24: 1011–6. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.030. PMID 24768054.
  2. ^ Fastnacht, M. (2005). "The first dsungaripterid pterosaur from the Kimmeridgian of Germany and the biomechanics of pterosaur long bones." Acta Palaeontologica Polonica, 50 (2): 273–288. "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-25. Retrieved 2011-10-04.
  3. ^ Lu J. and Ji Q. (2006). "Preliminary results of a phylogenetic analysis of the pterosaurs from western Liaoning and surrounding areas." Journal of the Paleontological Society of Korea, 22(1): 239-261. [1]
  4. ^ Chachere, Vickie (April 24, 2014). "International Scientific Team Discovers, Names Oldest Pterodactyloid Species". USF News.
  5. ^ Longrich, N.R., Martill, D.M., and Andres, B. (2018). Late Maastrichtian pterosaurs from North Africa and mass extinction of Pterosauria at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary. PLoS Biology, 16(3): e2001663. doi:10.1371/journal.pbio.2001663
  6. ^ Vidovic, S.U. and Martill, D.M. (2017). The taxonomy and phylogeny of Diopecephalus kochi (Wagner, 1837) and "Germanodactylus rhamphastinus" (Wagner, 1851). In Hone, D. W. E., Witton, M. P. &Martill, D. M. (eds) New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 455 Template:Soi