Original Paper

Naturwissenschaften

, Volume 99, Issue 4, pp 249-257

First online:

New toothed flying reptile from Asia: close similarities between early Cretaceous pterosaur faunas from China and Brazil

  • Xiaolin WangAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Alexander W. A. KellnerAffiliated withLaboratory of Systematics and Taphonomy of Fossil Vertebrates, Department of Geology and Paleontology, Museu Nacional Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ) Email author 
  • , Shunxing JiangAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of SciencesGraduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • , Xin ChengAffiliated withKey Laboratory of Evolutionary Systematics of Vertebrates, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of SciencesGraduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences

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Abstract

Despite the great increase in pterosaur diversity in the last decades, particularly due to discoveries made in western Liaoning (China), very little is known regarding pterosaur biogeography. Here, we present the description of a new pterosaur from the Jiufotang Formation that adds significantly to our knowledge of pterosaur distribution and enhances the diversity of cranial anatomy found in those volant creatures. Guidraco venator gen. et sp. nov. has an unusual upward-directed frontal crest and large rostral teeth, some of which surpass the margins of the skull and lower jaw when occluded. The new species is closely related to a rare taxon from the Brazilian Crato Formation, posing an interesting paleobiogeographic problem and supporting the hypothesis that at least some early Cretaceous pterosaur clades, such as the Tapejaridae and the Anhangueridae, might have originated in Asia. The association of the new specimen with coprolites and the cranial morphology suggest that G. venator preyed on fish.

Keywords

Pterosauria Guidraco Jiufotang Formation Early Cretaceous China