Kepodactylus

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Kepodactylus
Temporal range: Late Jurassic
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ctenochasmatidae
Genus: Kepodactylus
Harris & Carpenter, 1996
Species: K. insperatus
Binomial name
Kepodactylus insperatus
Harris & Carpenter, 1996

Kepodactylus is an extinct genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian-age Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Colorado, United States.

In 1992, a team from the Denver Museum of Natural History dug up a specimen of the dinosaur Stegosaurus stenops in Garden Park, Colorado. In the quarry they also found smaller disarticulated bones from other animals, among which were those of a pterosaur new to science.

In 1996, Jerald Harris and Kenneth Carpenter named the new genus. The type species is Kepodactylus insperatus. The genus name is derived from Greek, kepos, "garden", a reference to Garden Park and daktylos, "finger", referring to the typical wing finger of pterosaurs. The specific name means "unhoped-for" in Latin, alluding to the fact that the researchers hoped to find a dinosaur, and did not expect a pterosaur.

The genus is based on the holotype DMNH 21684, consisting of a cervical vertebra, humerus, several finger bones, and a metatarsal. Kepodactylus was similar to Mesadactylus but larger (wingspan around 2.5 m [8.2 ft]), and with additional pneumatic foramina (holes to allow air from air sacks to enter the bones) in the vertebrae and humerus. The describers concluded that the species was a member of the Pterodactyloidea and within this group, using the phylogeny of David Unwin, a member of a clade that is now known as Lophocratia.[1] It was regarded as a potentially valid genus in the most recent review of Morrison pterosaurs.[2] Unwin considered it a basal member of the Dsungaripteroidea sensu Unwin.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Harris, J.D., and Carpenter, K. (1996). A large pterodactyloid from the Morrison Formation (Late Jurassic) of Garden Park, Colorado. Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie Monatshefte 1996(8):473-484.
  2. ^ King, L.R., Foster, J.R., and Scheetz, R.D. (2006). New pterosaur specimens from the Morrison Formation and a summary of the Late Jurassic pterosaur record of the Rocky Mountain region. In: Foster, J.R., and Lucas, S.G. (eds.). Paleontology and Geology of the Upper Morrison Formation. New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science Bulletin 36:149-161. ISSN 1524-4156.