Temporal range: Upper Jurassic,
lower Tithonian
Skeleton of P. wellnhoferi
Scientific classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Clade: Ctenochasmatoidea
Family: Gallodactylidae (?)
Genus: Petrodactyle
Hone et al., 2023
P. wellnhoferi
Binomial name
Petrodactyle wellnhoferi
Hone et al., 2023

Petrodactyle (meaning "stone finger") is an extinct genus of ctenochasmatid pterosaur from the Late Jurassic Mörnsheim Formation (Solnhofen limestone) of Bavaria, Germany. The genus contains a single species, P. wellnhoferi, known from a partial skeleton belonging to a subadult individual. Petrodactyle is one of the largest Solnhofen pterosaurs and one of the largest Jurassic pterosaurs, with an estimated wingspan of 2.1 metres (6.9 ft).

Discovery and naming

Life restoration

The holotype and only known specimen, LF 2809, was recovered from the "Dritte Rosa" layer of the Mörnsheim Formation, near Mülheim in Bavaria, Germany. The specimen was initially discovered in a public visitor's quarry by Günther Zehetner and excavated by quarry owners Roland Pöschl and Uli Leonhard. LF 2809 was acquired by the Lauer Foundation for Paleontology, Science and Education in 2015 and is permanently deposited in their collections.

In 2023, Hone et al. described Petrodactyle wellnhoferi as a new genus and species of ctenochasmatid pterosaur based on these fossil remains. The generic name, "Petrodactyle", is derived from the Ancient Greek words petro, meaning "stone", and dactylus, meaning "finger". The name references the name given to Pterodactylus in its initial description in 1809, "Ptero-Dactyle", which was mistakenly printed as "Petro-Dactyle" on the cover. The specific name, "wellnhoferi" honours pterosaur researcher Peter Wellnhofer.


Hone et al. (2023) assigned Petrodactyle to the clade Ctenochasmatidae as a possible member or relative of the family Gallodactylidae.

This page was last updated at 2023-11-03 11:04 UTC. Update now. View original page.

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