Detailed Pedia

Pteranodontia

Pteranodontians
Temporal range:
Late Cretaceous,
~88–66 Ma possible Early Cretaceous record
Pteranodon sp AMNH 7515.jpg
Skull specimen (AMNH 7515) of the pteranodontid Pteranodon longiceps
Nyctosaurus gracilis skull - Pterosaurs Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs.jpg
Skull cast of the nyctosaurid Nyctosaurus gracilis
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Clade: Pteranodontoidea
Clade: Pteranodontia
Marsh, 1887
Subgroups
Synonyms
  • Euornithocheira Unwin, 2003

Pteranodontia is an extinct group of ornithocheiroid pterodactyloid pterosaurs that lived during the Late Cretaceous period (Coniacian to Maastrichtian stages) of North America and Africa. They were some of the most advanced pterosaurs, and possessed highly specialized cranial crests that may have served as sexual attraction, with males having a much larger crest.

Classification

Pteranodontia was originally named by Marsh in 1876. In 2003, it was given a phylogenetic definition by David Unwin as the common ancestor of Pteranodon and Nyctosaurus plus all its descendants. Though Marsh had originally named this group based on the shared absence of teeth in those species, most analyses show that all of the traditional "ornithocheiroid" pterosaurs are also members of this clade.

Below is a cladogram showing the phylogenetic placement of this group from Andres and Myers (2013).

 Pteranodontia 
 Nyctosauridae 

Muzquizopteryx coahuilensis

"Nyctosaurus" lamegoi

Nyctosaurus gracilis

Alamodactylus byrdi

 Pteranodontoidea 

Pteranodon longiceps

Pteranodon sternbergi

 Istiodactylidae 

Longchengpterus zhaoi

Nurhachius ignaciobritoi

Liaoxipterus brachyognathus

Istiodactylus latidens

Istiodactylus sinensis

Lonchodectes compressirostris

Aetodactylus halli

Cearadactylus atrox

Brasileodactylus araripensis

Ludodactylus sibbicki

Ornithocheirae
 Anhangueridae 

Liaoningopterus gui

Anhanguera araripensis

Anhanguera blittersdorffi

Anhanguera piscator

Anhanguera santanae

 Ornithocheiridae 

Tropeognathus mesembrinus

Ornithocheirus simus

Coloborhynchus clavirostris

Coloborhynchus wadleighi

In 2018, Longrich, Martill, and Andres revisited the classification, and made a different phylogenetic analysis. In the analysis, they followed Marsh's original classification, in which Pteranodontia is restricted to the families Pteranodontidae and Nyctosauridae. They also replaced Pteranodontia with Pteranodontoidea as the more inclusive group.

Ornithocheiroidea 
 Azhdarchoidea 

Tapejaromorpha

 Neoazhdarchia 
 Dsungaripteromorpha 

Dsungaripteridae

Thalassodromidae

 Neopterodactyloidea 

Azhdarchidae

Chaoyangopteridae

Piksi barbarulna

 Pteranodontoidea 

Ornithocheiromorpha

 Pteranodontia 
 Pteranodontidae 

Pteranodon sternbergi

Pteranodon longiceps

Tethydraco regalis

Nyctosauridae

Alamodactylus byrdi

Volgadraco bogolubovi

Cretornis hlavaci

Alcione elainus

Simurghia robusta

Muzquizopteryx coahuilensis

Barbaridactylus grandis

Nyctosaurus lamegoi

Nyctosaurus nanus

Nyctosaurus gracilis

Paleobiology

Locomotion

Similar to other pterosaurs, pteranodontian 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. Footprints of pteranodontians are still unknown, but it is likely that they also walked erect. Among pterosaurs, pteranodontians had unusually uneven limb proportions, with the forelimbs much larger and 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. Most pteranodontians like Pteranodon flew like modern day albatrosses, which consists of flying very long distances and rarely flapping.

"Wyomingopteryx"

The name "Wyomingopteryx" appears in a painting of Morrison prehistoric animals by Robert Bakker. However, this binomen is a nomen nudum, and it is possible that Bakker may have intended to coin "Wyomingopteryx" for the Istiodactylus-like specimen TATE 5999 because that specimen is found in Wyoming.


This page was last updated at 2022-09-15 08:39 UTC. Update now. View original page.

All our content comes from Wikipedia and under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.

Contact

Top