Detailed Pedia


Temporal range:
Late Jurassic-Late Cretaceous, 155–66 Ma
Restored skeleton of Dsungaripterus weii
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Clade: Lophocratia
Clade: Dsungaripteroidea
Young, 1964

Dsungaripteroidea is a group of pterosaurs within the suborder Pterodactyloidea.

Evolutionary history

The earliest known fossils attributed to this group are from the Kimmeridgian-age Upper Jurassic Argiles d'Octeville Formation of France, dated to around 155 million years ago, and belonging to the species Normannognathus wellnhoferi.[1]


The Dsungaripteroidea was defined in 2003 by David Unwin. Unwin made Dsungaripteroidea the most inclusive clade containing both Dsungaripterus weii and Germanodactylus cristatus.[2] Unwin at that time considered those two species to be close relatives. However, more recent studies have shown Germanodactylus to be much more primitive, either an archaeopterodactyloid or a primitive member of the Eupterodactyloidea. This makes Dsungaripteroidea a much larger group.

Alexander Kellner in 2003 defined Dsungaripteroidea very differently as the group containing the last common ancestor of Nyctosaurus and Quetzalcoatlus, and all its descendants.


Dsungaripteroids sensu Unwin appear to have been largely terrestrial pterosaurs. Not only do they have thick bone walls and generally stouty bodily proportions, they also occur in inland environments, usually away from the coast. Their flight style remains largely untested, but it is speculated that it was dominated by frantic flapping and abrupt landings.[3]


  1. ^ Buffetaut, E., Lepage, J.-J., and Lepage, G. (1998). A new pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Kimmeridgian of the Cap de la Hève (Normandy, France). Geological Magazine 135(5):719–722.
  2. ^ Unwin, D. M., (2003). "On the phylogeny and evolutionary history of pterosaurs." Pp. 139-190. in Buffetaut, E. & Mazin, J.-M., (eds.) (2003). Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs. Geological Society of London, Special Publications 217, London, 1-347.
  3. ^ Witton, Mark (2013). Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy. Princeton University Press. p. 51. ISBN 978-0691150611.

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