Thursday, 28 November 2013

Cearadactylus atrox

This aberrant member of the Ctenochasmatid pterosaurs had very sharp and long front teeth probably used to catch fish. It is known from a single incomplete skull missing the back portion, from the early Cretaceous of Brazil. A second species, C. ligabuei has been described in 1993 by Dalla Vecchia from the same Santana Formation, but further study by Unwin (2002) found it had nothing to do with Cearadactylus and placed it among the ornithocheirids (genus Anhanguera).

Cearadactylus atrox
Leonardi & Borgomanero, 1985
Meaning of generic name
Ceará finger.

[When a name ends in "finger" / "dactylus" it usually is short for "wing finger" = "pterodactylus"]
Skull length: 57 cm, Wingspan: ? 4-5 m
Single incomplete skull and lower jaw.
Age and Distribution
Santana Formation, Araripe Group (Early Cretaceous, Albian), Araripe plateau, Ceará, Northeastern Brazil.
Pterosauria Pterodactyloidea Ctenochasmatoidea Ctenochasmatidae Gnatosaurinae
Further Reading
Leonardi, G., and Borgomanero, G., 1985, Cearadactylus atrox nov. gen., nov. sp.: Novo Pterosauria (Pterodactyloidea) Da Chapada do Araripe, Ceara, Brasil: Brasil, D.N.P.M., Coletanea de Trabalhos Paleontologicos. Serie "Geologia", Brasilia, 27 (Secao de Paleontologia e Estratigragia, 2), p. 75-80.

Unwin, D. M. 2002, On the systematic relationships of Cearadactylus atrox, an enigmatic Early Cretaceous pterosaur from the Santana Formation of Brazil. Mitteilungen Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Geowissenschaftlichen Reihe, 5, 239-263.

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