Thursday, 26 December 2013

Istiodactylus latidens

Originally described by Seeley in 1901 and thought to be a bird, Istiodactylus has been recognized as a pterosaur and changed its name from Ornithodesmus because the original material used for the description also contained some theropod dinosaur bones. Istiodactylus lived during the Early Cretaceous of what is now England. It had a flat rounded shape beak with an unusually large naso-antorbital fenestra which is occupying most of the snout. Istiodactylus and its relatives could had lived on a diet of fish; however, given the general distribution of istiodactylids, they would have to be inland piscivores rather like modern pelicans. There have also been some proposition that they were actually scavengers, as they were more efficient walkers than other ornithocheiroids and had teeth similar to those of some sharks.

Istiodactylus latidens
(Seeley, 1901) Howse, Milner & Martill, 2001
Meaning of generic name
Sail Finger
Meaning of specific name
broad tooth
Wingspan: 4-5 m, Skull length: 560 mm
Four partial skeletons.
Age and Distribution
Early Cretaceous (Barremian) Vectis Formation of the Isle of Wight, England, UK.
Pterosauria Pterodactyloidea Ornithocheiroidea Istiodactylidae
Further Reading
Hooley, R. W., 1913, On the skeleton of Ornithodesmus latidens. An ornithosaur from the Wealden shales of Atherfield (Isle of Wight), Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society, 69: 372-421.

Howse, S. C. B., Milner A. R., and Martill, D. M., 2001, Pterosaurs. Pp. 324-335 in: Martill, D. M. and Naish, D., eds. Dinosaurs of the Isle of Wight, The Palaeontological Association.
Ornithodesmus latidens Seeley, 1901

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