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Pterodactylus is a specific genus of pterosaur. It is a different term to pterodactyl which is a common term for pterosaurs as a whole. Any information on pop culture etc. should be palced at the pterodactyl article. Martyman 03:48, 24 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Pterodactylus elegans[edit]

Jouve (2004) demonstrated that Pterodactylus elegans is probably a species of Ctenochasma, resulting in the new combination Ctenochasma elegans (Wagner, 1861) comb. nov. For this reason, remove elegans from the Pterodactylus species list and transfer it to Ctenochasma.

Stéphane, J., 2004. Description of the skull of a *Ctenochasma* (Pterosauria) from the latest Jurassic of eastern France, with a taxonomic revision of European Tithonian Pterodactyloidea, JVP 24(3):542-554.

Status of German Pterodactylus[edit]

A study by Mateer (1976) recognizes two species of Pterodactylus from Germany: Pterodactylus antiquus (P. kochi is a junior synonym) and P. micronyx.

Mateer, N. J. 1976 A statistical study of the genus Pterodactylus. Bull. geol. Inst. Univ. Uppsala 6, 97-105.

Pterodactylus grandipelvis and P. grandis may also be synonyms of P. antiquus, because they are nomina dubia. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 19:38, 29 December 2006 (UTC).

French, British, and Tanzanian Pterodactylus[edit]

Pterodactylus is represented in Britain, France, and Tanzania each by two species. The British species are Pterodactylus manseli and Pterodactylus pleydelli, the French species are Pterodactylus cerinensis and Pterodactylus suprajurensis, and Tanzanian species are Pterodactylus arningi and Pterodactylus maximus. Add these species to this page. In all, there are 8 species of Pterodactylus (2 in Britain, 2 in France, 2 in Germany [P. kochi is synonymous with P. antiquus, according to Mateer, 1976], and 2 in Tanzania). This number of Pterodactylus species suggests that Pterodactylus is widespread.

Mateer, N. J. 1976 A statistical study of the genus Pterodactylus. Bull. geol. Inst. Univ. Uppsala 6, 97-105. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 20:00, 29 December 2006 (UTC).

Most of those species are too dubious to assign definately to P.. I'll dig up cites if I can, but I haven't seen a survey in years that lists more than 3 valid species of P. They can certainly be discussed in the text, but I wouldn't list them in the taxobox. Dinoguy2 21:14, 29 December 2006 (UTC)


it doesnt say how long they were so cant really get the proportions.....

A specimen with a wingspan of 1.5 metres would have measured about 55 centimetres from the tip of the snout to the end of the tail.--MWAK (talk) 14:51, 20 November 2009 (UTC)

Revision of the genus Pterodactylus[edit]

Bennett (1996, 2003) provided evidence that Pterodactylus kochi is conspecific with P. antiquus. Bennett (1996) demonstrated P. micronyx to be the juvenile of Gnathosaurus subulatus. These conclusions are based on analyses that plot the measurements of Pterodactylus elements against their size frequency. His revision of the genus Pterodactylus shows that the German Pterodactylus is represented by only one species. He originally considered Germanodactylus, a similar pterodactylid, to be a species of Pterodactylus (as P. sp.), but later (2006) showed Germanodactylus to be distinct from Pterodactylus. Jouve (2004) concluded that Diopecephalus is related to Pterodactylus. The revised synonymy of the German Pterodactylus (modified from is presented below:

Pterodactylus Cuvier, 1809 emend. Rafinesque, 1815

=Ornithocephalus von Sömmering, 1812

= "Pterotherium" Fischer, 1813

= Macrotrachelus Giebel, 1852

= Ptenodracon Lydekker, 1888

P. antiquus (von Sömmering, 1812) Lydekker, 1888

= Ornithocephalus antiquus von Sömmering, 1812

= Ornithocephalus brevirostris von Sömmering, 1816–17

= Ptenodracon brevirostris (von Sömmering, 1816–17) Lydekker, 1888

= Pterodactylus brevirostris (von Sömmering, 1816–17) Oken, 1819

= Pterodactylus longirostris Cuvier, 1819

= Macrotrachelus longirostris (Cuvier, 1819) Giebel, 1852

= Ornithocephalus longirostris (Cuvier, 1819) Ritgen, 1826

= Pterodactylus "suevicus" Oken, 1825

= Pterodactylus crocodilocephaloides Ritgen, 1826

= Ornithocephalus kochi Wagner, 1837

= Pterodactylus kochi (Wagner, 1837) von Meyer, 1859

= Diopecephalus kochi (Wagner, 1837) Seeley, 1871

= Ornithocephalus kochi (Wagner, 1837) Lydekker, 1888

= Pterodactylus meyeri Münster, 1842

= Ornithocephalus meyeri (Münster, 1842) Wagner, 1851

= Pterodactylus scolopaciceps von Meyer, 1850

= Rhamphorhynchus scolopaciceps (von Meyer, 1850)

= Pterodactylus spectabilis von Meyer, 1861

Bennett, S. C. 1996. Year-classes of pterosaurs from the Solnhofen Limestone of Germany: taxonomic and systematic implications. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 16:432-444.

Bennett, S. C. 2003. New information on the genera Pterodactylus and Germanodactylus from the Solnhofen Limestone of southern Germany. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 23(Suppl. to #3):33A.

Bennett, S. C. 2006. Juvenile specimens of the pterosaur Germanodactylus cristatus, with a review of the genus. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 26:872-878.

Jouve, S., 2004. Description of the skull of a Ctenochasma (Pterosauria) from the Late Jurassic of eastern France, with a taxonomic revision of European Tithonian Pterodactyloidea. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology: 3: 542-554.

Therefore, update the Pterodactylus taxobox and page, once Bennett publishes his (2003) abstract as a full paper.

Any idea if/when this is going to be published? The abstract came out four years ago, and Bennett has published on similar subjects in the interval. Dinoguy2 03:25, 14 February 2007 (UTC)

I don't know, but I would say that Bennett will publish his work concerning the synonymy of Pterodactylus kochi with P. antiquus and the distinctness of Daitingopterus (to be published as new genus for "Pterodactylus rhamphastinus"), Diopecephalus, and Germanodactylus will be published later this year. Germanodactylus will be restricted to the type species, G. cristatus (Witman, 1925), with G. rhamphastinus (Wagner, 1851) to be made the type of the new genus Daitingopterus.

Pterodactylus "suevicus"[edit]

Is the Pterodactylus "suevicus" Oken, 1825 [nomen nudum] mentioned here the same as this? [1] FunkMonk (talk) 02:47, 11 March 2009 (UTC)

No.--MWAK (talk) 08:04, 18 November 2009 (UTC)

Error in life reconstruction?[edit]

The CG image on the left side of the article shows Pterodactylus with "Walking With Dinosaurs" grade hands--the smaller fingers curve back over the wing finger. I'm pretty sure this is incorrect--the wing finger doesn't come out of the palm of the hand, it's a digit that begins at a metacarpal just like the regular fingers. It doesn't even seem possible for a pterosaur to twist its fingers that way without breaking and/or dislocating them. Unless pterosaur digits articulated backwards, I just don't see how it could happen. (talk) 18:58, 22 June 2009 (UTC)

You're correct, the digits appear to be hyperextended relative to the wing in that case. Might be an easy fix, maybe you should contact the artist. I'm hesitant to remove it outright for a relatively minor inaccuracy as it's spot-on otherwise.Dinoguy2 (talk) 19:25, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
According to the artist it's based off a lecture by John Conway in which he argued a "palm forward" position as described here. I don't quite understand how that results in "Walking With Dinosaurs" grade hands but according to Arthur (the artist) it was fully intentional. (talk) 16:24, 6 July 2009 (UTC)
Unfortunately I think Arthur might have misinterpreted the palm-forward thing. If you look at Conway's own skeletals showing this position the palm is forward, but the fingers don't all stick up. Instead they all sort of collapse together in a telescoping way along he wing finger. Hard to describe, but they're not hyperextended. It's more like a variation on the orientation of folded maniraptoran hands. You can sort of see it here: [2]. Notice that digit 1 is behind digit 2 is behind digit 3, so the "palm" such as it is does face forward. But the fingers aren't out of the plane of the wing. Dinoguy2 (talk) 22:14, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, I've noticed that none of his pictures have hyperextended fingers, before or after that journal. Any idea what to do about the Pterodactylus, then? (talk) 00:30, 9 July 2009 (UTC)
I'll have some time and can try to photoshop it later this week, unless anybody else wants to take a crack at it. Shouldn't be too hard to correct. Dinoguy2 (talk) 14:04, 9 July 2009 (UTC)

Pop culture[edit]

There's a viral video and it's fast becoming a pop cultural idea of the Pterodactyle in the cartoons of Maybe it's worth mentioning somewhere but I'm new to this so will leave it to the experts — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Any reputable, published articles discussing it's cultural impact? MMartyniuk (talk) 13:28, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Was Pterodactyl a reptile or dinosaur - anyone have Discovery Science reference[edit]

I was told that Pterodactyl was mentioned in Discovery Science as a mammal NOT a Reptile - as such it would be an evolutionary step away from avian-like reptiles, and most definitely not a Flying lizard or dinosaur ... can anyone get the reference and disambiguate and re-edit for this new viewpoint or theory ...

AspieNo1 (talk) 20:40, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Marsupial pterosaurs, 1843
Well, this is not a "new viewpoint", no one supports that today. It wa proposed by someone in the 19th century that they were marsupials, but no one else has taken that seriously. FunkMonk (talk) 21:19, 24 August 2013 (UTC)

Pterodactylus longirostris twice?[edit]

Here a Pterodactylus longirostris is attributted to Cuvier, 1819. But in the Aurorazhdarcho article, there's a Pterodactylus longirostris von Meyer, 1859. What's the matter? FunkMonk (talk) 11:56, 5 February 2014 (UTC)

I'd have to double check but I *think* this is a case where the same species name was used twice for two different type specimens (maybe one started out as Ornithocephalus?). Edit: Ok, so Cuvier latinized his "Ptero-Dactyle" as Pterodactylus with no species name. Subsequently, Sommering named the same specimen Ornithocephalus antiquus. Third, Cuvier, ignoring Sommering's paper, added a species name to the type specimen, as Pterodactylus longirostris. Therefore Cuvier's Pterodactylus as genus priority but Sommering's antiquus has priority of species. So P. longirostris Cuvier 1819 is a junior objective synonym of P. antiquus. The other P. longirpstris was named for a different specimen and so is a homonym but not a synonym. MMartyniuk (talk) 17:11, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Ouch. What does that mean for redirects? Disambig? FunkMonk (talk) 19:29, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
I think a disambig would be necessary, yeah. MMartyniuk (talk) 21:57, 5 February 2014 (UTC)
Scratch that, looks like the source I used was intending to refer specimens referred to longirostris by Meyer to Cuvier's type species, not create an additional name. longirostris only = antiquus. Dinoguy2 (talk) 18:05, 24 February 2014 (UTC)
Weirdly, it seemed to make sense at the time, an image of a specimen on Commons was once labelled as P. longirostris, but the specimen has since been referred to Aurorazhdarcho... FunkMonk (talk) 19:44, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Pterodactylus brevirostris[edit]

I forgot to mention that Pterodactylus brevirostris was tentatively synonymized with Aurorazhdarcho micronyx by Wellnhofer (1970). Bennett (2013) mentions that the holotype is very similar to Aurorazhdarcho, and so it's possible that P. brevirostris (and hence Ptenodracon could be a senior synonym of Aurorazhdarcho. Extrapolaris (talk) 19:35, 6 April 2014 (UTC)Vahe Demirjian

True, but I'd wait for a more thorough discussion on potential synonymy before doing anything here. Maybe we should include brevirostris on both pages under synonyms with a question mark. Dinoguy2 (talk) 12:17, 7 April 2014 (UTC)

Diopecephalus to be resurrected[edit]

In the paper naming Aerodactylus[3], it is mentioned a paper resurrecting Diopecephalus kochi is in press. Seems this article will have some problems by then. FunkMonk (talk) 08:37, 23 October 2014 (UTC)

And the paper is now out. Let the splitting begin...... Lythronaxargestes (talk) 21:11, 28 June 2017 (UTC)
I'd hold off on splitting until we see something new from somebody other than Vidovic and Martill, who are the only ones during the past 25 years not treating these as growth stages. Dinoguy2 (talk) 15:41, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
We could maybe treat it like we did with Ornithoscelida; we make a separate Diopecephalus article, but don't do major changes to the Pterodactylus article, just mention somewhere (history/classificaton) that this hypothesis has been proposed. Then we wait with any major restructuring until some kind of consensus emerges, however long that may take. FunkMonk (talk) 15:54, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
Sounds good to me. Abyssal (talk) 17:25, 29 June 2017 (UTC)
  • Seems there was already an old Diopecephalus article, so I just redirected to that. FunkMonk (talk) 00:22, 7 July 2017 (UTC)