Thursday, 28 November 2013

Lonchodectes compressirostris

Lonchodectes (meaning “lance biter”) is a disputed ornithocheirid and is possibly part of a family called the azhdarchid’s. This group contains one of the largest pterosaurs ever to have been found, Arambourgiana and includes the weirdest of all pterosaurs, Tapejara and Tupuxuara. Lonchodectes had smaller teeth than other ornithocheirids, this is how it was characterized as a different species of ornithocheirid.

Fossils of Lonchodectes are extremely rare but fragmentary remains have been discovered in the Cambridge Greensand formation. Lonchodectes remains have also been discovered in Hastings sands of Sussex. The remains of Lonchodectes discovered in this region shows that the family were well established. It is possible that the family of Lonchodectes became extinct somewhere around the early Late Cretaceous, probably the Cenomanian Stage.

Lonchodectes compressirostris
Hooley, 1914
Meaning of generic name
Lance Biter
Meaning of specific name
the squeeze beak
Wingspan: 2 m
Fragmentary remains, include several teeth, isolated and associated bones
Age and Distribution
Lower Cretaceous Greensand Formation (Albian), Cambridge, England.

Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation (Cenomanian), Brazil.
Pterosauria Pterodactyloidea Azhdarchoidea? Lonchodectidae
Further Reading
Hooley, R.W. (1914). On the Ornithosaurian genus Ornithocheirus with a review of the specimens from the Cambridge Greensand in the Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge. Annals and Magazine of Natural History, series 8, 78:529-557

Unwin, D.M., Lü, J., and Bakhurina, N.N. (2000). On the systematic and stratigraphic significance of pterosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation (Jehol Group) of Liaoning, China. Mitteilungen Museum für Naturkunde der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Geowissenschaftliche Reihe 3:181–206.

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