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Tupandactylus
Fossil range: Early Cretaceous
TapimpDB
Tupandactylus imperator (formerly classified as Tapejara imperator).
Scientific classification

Order:

Pterosauria

Suborder:

Pterodactyloidea

Family:

Tapejaridae

Subfamily:

Tapejarinae

Genus:

Tupandactylus

Species:

  • T. imperator
    (Campos & Kellner, 1997 [originally Tapejara]) (type)

Synonyms:

  • Ingridia
    Unwin & Martill, 2007

Synonyms


Tupandactylus (meaning "Tupan finger", in reference to the Tupi thunder god) is a genus of tapejarid pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous Santana Formation of Brazil. It is notable for its large cranial crest, composed partly of bone and partly of soft tissue.

Tupandactylus is based on MCT 1622-R, an almost complete skull, found in the Crato Member of the Santana Formation. It was initially described as a species of Tapejara, but later research has indicated it warrants its own genus. The skull was toothless and had a prominent sagittal crest, only the base of which was bony: the front of the crest featured a tall bony rod extending up and back, and the rear of the crest had a long prong of bone projecting behind it. The bulk of the crest was made up of soft tissue similar to keratin, supported by the two bony struts.

DescriptionEdit

Tupandactylus imperator is known from four nearly complete skulls. The holotype specimen is MCT 1622-R, a skull and partial lower jaw, found in the Crato Formation, dating to the boundary of the Aptian-Albian stages of the early Cretaceous period, about 112 Ma ago.[1] It was initially described as a species of Tapejara,[2] but later research has indicated it warrants its own genus. The skull was toothless and had a prominent sagittal crest, only the base of which was bony: the front of the crest featured a tall bony rod extending up and back, and the rear of the crest had a long prong of bone projecting behind it. The bulk of the crest was made up of soft tissue similar to keratin, supported by the two bony struts.[3] An additional skull described in 2011, specimen CPCA 3590, preserved more of the lower jaw, showing that like Tapejara, T. imperator had a large, asymmetrical "keel"-like crest on the underside of the lower jaw tip.

Some Tupandactylus specimens preserve evidence of a keratinous beak at the jaw tips. However, this was restricted to the crested portion of the lower jaw, as one specimen also preserves pycnofibres (simple feather-like filaments) covering the jaws further back.

ClassificationEdit

Beginning in 2006, several researchers, including Kellner and Campos (who named Tupandactylus), had found that the three species traditionally assigned to the genus Tapejara (T. wellnhofferi, T. imperator, and T. navigans) are in fact distinct both in anatomy and in their relationships to other tapejarid pterosaurs, and thus needed to be given new generic names. However, just how the species should be split proved controversial. Kellner and Campos considered only T. imperator to warrant a new name, creating Tupandactylus. However, another study published in 2007 by Unwin and Martill found that T. navigans, previously assigned to Tapejara, was actually most closely related to T. imperator and belonged with it in a new genus separate from Tapejara. In 2007, at a symposium held in honor of renowned pterosaur researcher Peter Wellnhofer, Unwin and Martill announced the new genus name Ingridia, in honor of Wellnhofer's late wife Ingrid. However, when they published this name in a 2007 volume, they assigned imperator as the type species of their new genus, rather than navigans, which they also included as a species of Ingridia.[1] Furthermore, Unwin and Martill's paper was not published until several months after the similar paper by Kellner and Campos. Therefore, because both sets of authors used imperator as the type, Ingridia is considered a junior objective synonym of Tupandactylus.[2]

Azhdarchoidea

Azhdarchidae


Tapejaridae
Thalassodrominae

Thalassodromeus sethi




Tupuxuara deliradamus



Tupuxuara leonardii





Chaoyangopterinae

Jidapterus edentus



Shenzhoupterus chaoyangensis



Chaoyangopterus zhangi



Tapejarinae


Sinopterus jii



Sinopterus dongi






Huaxiapterus benxiensis



Huaxiapterus corollatus





Tapejara wellnhoferi




Tupandactylus navigans



Tupandactylus imperator









Pterodrone unmanned aerial vehicleEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Unwin, D. M. and Martill, D. M. (2007). "Pterosaurs of the Crato Formation." In Martill, D. M., Bechly, G. and Loveridge, R. F. (eds), The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil: Window into an Ancient World. Cambridge University Press (Cambridge), pp. 475-524.
  2. ^ Naish, D. (2008). "Crato Formation fossils and the new tapejarids." Weblog entry. Tetrapod Zoology. 18 January 2008. Accessed 31 January 2008 (http://scienceblogs.com/tetrapodzoology/2008/01/crato_formation_tapejarids.php).

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