Advertisement

Chinese Science Bulletin

, Volume 47, Issue 3, pp 226–230 | Cite as

A nearly completely articulated rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur with exceptionally well-preserved wing membranes and “hairs” from Inner Mongolia, northeast China

  • Xiaolin WangEmail author
  • Zhonghe Zhou
  • Fucheng Zhang
  • Xing Xu
Notes

Abstract

We report a new and nearly completely articulated rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur, Jeholopterus ningchengensis gen. et sp. nov., with excellently preserved fibres in the wing membrane and “hairs” in the neck, body and tail regions. Many of its characteristics such as a short neck, short metacarpals and distinctively long fifth pedal digit are characteristic of rhamphorhynchoids. The new species can be further referred to the ‘strange’ short-tailed rhamphorhynchoid family Anurognathidae. It is much more complete than the other known members of the family, namely, Anurognathus from Solnhofen, Germany, Batrachognathus from Karatau, Kazakhstan, and Dendrorhynchoides from Beipiao, Liaoning Province, China. The new pterosaur also shows that the wing membrane is attached to the ankle of the hind limb. The pedal digits are webbed. Furthermore, the “hair” of Jeholopterus bears some resemblance to the hair-like integumental structures of the feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx although there is yet no direct evidence to argue for or against their homology.

Anurognathidae

Jeholopterus Wing membrane “hair” Yixian Formation Inner Mongolia 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Martill, D. M., Unwin, D. M., Exceptionally well-preserved pterosaur wing membrane from the Cretaceous of Brazil, Nature, 1989, 340: 138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wellnhofer, P., The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pterosaurs, New York: Crescent Books, 1991, 1–191.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Frey, E., Martill, D. M., Soft tissue preservation in a specimen of Pterodactylus kochi (Wagner) from the Upper Jurassic of Germany, N. Jb. Geol. Palaeont, Abh., 1998, 210(3): 421.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Wellnhofer, P., Handbuch der Paläoherpetologie, Teil 19. Pterosauria, Stuttgart: Gustav Fischer Verlag, 1978. 1–82.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Wang, X. L., Wang, Y. Q., Zhang, F. C. et al., Vertebrate biostratigraphy of the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation in Lingyuan, western Liaoning and its neighboring southern Nei Mongol (Inner Mongolia), China, Vert. PalAsiat. (in Chinese), 2000, 38(2): 81.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Swisher, C. C., Wang, Y. Q., Wang, X. L. et al., Cretaceous age for the feathered dinosaurs of Liaoning, China, Nature, 1999, 400: 58.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Döderlein, L., Anurognathus ammoni ein neuer Flugsaurier, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen, Akademie der Wissenschaften, math.-naturwiss. Klasse, 1923, 117.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Döderlein, L., Über Anurognathus ammoni Döderlein, Sitzungsberichte der Bayerischen, Akademie der Wissenschaften, math.-naturwiss. Klasse, 1929, 47.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Riabinin, A. N., Remarks on a flying reptile from the Jurassic of the Karatau, Trans. Palaeont. Ins., 1948, 15: 86.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ji, S. A., Ji, Q., A new fossil pterosaur (Rhamphorhynchoidea) from Liaoning, Jiangsu Geol. (in Chinese), 1998, 22(4): 199.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Ji, S. A., Ji, Q., Padian, K., Biostratigraphy of new pterosaurs from China, Nature, 1999, 398: 573.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Wang, Y., A new salamander (Amphibia: Caudata) from the Early Cretaceous Jehol Biota. Vert. PalAsiat. (in Chinese), 2000, 38(2): 100.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Unwin, D. M., Lü, J. C., Bakhurina, N. N., On the systematic and stratigraphic significance of pterosaurs from the Lower Cretaceous Yixian Formation (Jehol Group) of Liaoning, China, Mitteilungen Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Geowissenschaftlichen Reihe, 2000, 3: 181.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sharov, A. G., New flying reptiles from the Mesozoic of Kazakhstan and Kirgizia, Trans. Palaeont. Ins., 1971, 130: 104.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Wang, X. L., Lü, J. C., Discovery of a pterodactylid pterosaur from the Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China, Chinese Sci. Bull., 2001, 46(13): 1112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ji, S. A., Ji, Q., Discovery of a new pterosaur in western Liaoning, China, Act. Geol. Sin. (in Chinese), 1997, 71(1): 1.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Wang, X. L., Wang, Y. Q., Jin, F. et al., The Sihetun fossil vertebrate assemblage and its geological setting of western Liaoning, China, Palaeoworld (in Chinese), 1999, (11): 310.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Bakhurina, N. N., Unwin, D. M., A survey of pterosaurs from the Jurassic and Cretaceous of the Former Soviet Union and Mongolia, Hist. Biology, 1995, 10: 197.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Unwin, D. M., Bakhurina, N. N., Pterosaurs from Russia, Middle Asia and Mongolia, The Age of Dinosaurs in Russia and Mongolia, (eds. Benton, M. J., Shishkin, M. A., Unwin, D. M., Kurochkin, E. N.), Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2000, 420–433.Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Chen, P. J., Dong, Z. M., Zhen, S. N., An exceptionally well-preserved theropod dinosaur from the Yixian Formation of China, Nature, 1998, 391: 147.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Xu, X., Zhou, Z. H., Prum, R., Branched integumental structures in Sinornithosaurus and the origin of feathers, Nature, 2001, 410: 200.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Zhou, Z. H., Wang, X. L., Zhang, F. C. et al., Important features of Caudipteryx—evidence from two nearly complete new specimens, Vert. PalAsiat, 2000, 38(4): 241.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Padian, K., Rayer, J. M. V., The wings of pterosaurs, Amer. J. Sci., 1993, 293 A: 91.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Unwin, D. M., Bakhurina, N. N., Sordes pilosus and the nature of the pterosaur flight apparatus, Nature, 1994, 371: 62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Bakhurina, N. N., Unwin, D. M., Preliminary report on the evidence for ‘hair’ in Sordes pilosus, an Upper Jurassic pterosaur from Middle Asia, (eds. Sun, A. L., Wang, Y. Q.), Sixth Symposium on Mesozoic Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biota, Short Papers, Beijing: China Ocean Press, 1995, 79–82.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Unwin, D. M., Bakhurina, N. N., Wing shape in pterosaurs, Nature, 1995, 374: 316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Alexander, R. M., The flight of the pterosaur, Nature, 1994, 371: 12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Peters, D., Wing shape in pterosaur, Nature, 1995, 374: 315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Bennett, S. C., Pterosaur flight: The role of actinofibrils in wing function, Hist. Biology, 2000, 14: 255.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Frey, E., Tischlinger, H., Weichteilanatomie der Flugsaurierfüße und Bau der Scheitelkämme: Neue Pterosaurierfunde aus den Solnhofener Schichten (Bayern) und der Crato-Formation (Brasilien), Archaeopteryx, 2000, 18: 1.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Science in China Press 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Xiaolin Wang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Zhonghe Zhou
    • 1
  • Fucheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Xing Xu
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and PaleoanthropologyChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations