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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54268. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054268. Epub 2013 Jan 30.

A new azhdarchid pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous of the Transylvanian Basin, Romania: implications for azhdarchid diversity and distribution.

Author information

1
Department of Natural Sciences, Transylvanian Museum Society, Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Abstract

We describe a new taxon of medium-sized (wing span ca. 3 m) azhdarchid pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Transylvanian Basin (Sebeş Formation) of Romania. This specimen is the most complete European azhdarchid yet reported, comprising a partially articulated series of vertebrae and associated forelimb bones. The new taxon is most similar to the Central Asian Azhdarcho lancicollis Nessov but possesses a suite of autapomorphies in its vertebrae that include the relative proportions of cervicals three and four and the presence of elongated prezygapophyseal pedicles. The new taxon is interesting in that it lived contemporaneously with gigantic forms, comparable in size to the famous Romanian Hatzegopteryx thambema. The presence of two distinct azhdarchid size classes in a continental depositional environment further strengthens suggestions that these pterosaurs were strongly linked to terrestrial floodplain and wooded environments. To support this discussion, we outline the geological context and taphonomy of our new specimen and place it in context with other known records for this widespread and important Late Cretaceous pterosaurian lineage.

PMID:
23382886
PMCID:
PMC3559652
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0054268
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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