Temporal range: Early - Late Cretaceous, 130–65 Ma Possible Middle Jurassic record
|Skeletal cast of a Coloborhynchus spielbergi|
Ornithocheiroids, like other pterosaurs, are considered to have been skilled fliers as well as adept at moving on the ground. Evidence from footprints shows that most pterosaurs did not sprawl their limbs to a large degree, as in modern reptiles, but rather held the limbs relatively erect when walking, like dinosaurs. While no ornithocheiroid footprints are known, it is likely that they also walked erect. Among pterosaurs, ornithocheiroids had unusually uneven limb proportions, with the forelimbs much longer than the hind limbs. This would likely have required them to use unique modes of locomotion when on the ground compared to other pterosaurs. It is possible that ornithocheiroids ran (but not walked) bipedally, or that they used a hopping gait. Pterosaur researcher Mike Habib has noted that the limbs proportions of ornithocheiroids like Anhanguera are consistent with hopping.
Ornithocheiroids were among the last of the world's pterosaur faunas. The species Piksi barbarulna and a few potential pteranodonts and nyctosaurs have all been found dating from the Campanian to the Maastrichtian ages of the Late Cretaceous period.
- Witton, M.P. and Habib, M.B. (2010). "On the Size and Flight Diversity of Giant Pterosaurs, the Use of Birds as Pterosaur Analogues and Comments on Pterosaur Flightlessness." PLoS ONE, 5(11): e13982. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0013982
- Habib, M. (2011). "Dinosaur Revolution: Anhanguera." H2VP: Paleobiomechanics. Weblog entry, 20-SEP-2011. Accessed 28-SEP-2011: http://h2vp.blogspot.com/2011/09/dinosaur-revolution-anhanguera.html
- Federico L. Agnolin and David Varricchio (2012). "Systematic reinterpretation of Piksi barbarulna Varricchio, 2002 from the Two Medicine Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Western USA (Montana) as a pterosaur rather than a bird" (PDF). Geodiversitas 34 (4): 883–894. doi:10.5252/g2012n4a10.
- 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.
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