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PeerJ. 2017 Dec 1;5:e4102. doi: 10.7717/peerj.4102. eCollection 2017.

New anatomical information of the wukongopterid Kunpengopterus sinensis Wang et al., 2010 based on a new specimen.

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Key Laboratory of Vertebrate Evolution and Human Origins of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Beijing, China.
Laboratory of Systematics and Taphonomy of Fossil Vertebrates, Department of Geology and Paleontology, National Museum/UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.


The Wukongopteridae compose a non-pterodactyloid clade of pterosaurs that are the most abundant flying reptiles in the deposits of the Middle-Late Jurassic Yanliao Biota. Until now, five species of three genera and two additional unnamed specimens have been described. Here we report on a new material, IVPP V 23674, that can be referred to the wukongopterid Kunpengopterus sinensis due to several features such as a comparably short nasoantorbital fenestra, the dorsally rising posterodorsal margin of the ischium, and the very short first pedal phalanx of digit V relative to metatarsal IV. IVPP V 23674 provides the first view of a wukongopterid palate, which differs from all other pterosaurs by having a very large postpalatine fenestra and laterally compressed choanae, indicating that the evolution of the pterosaur palate was more complex than previously thought. Sesamoid bones at the dorsal side of manual unguals are present and are reported for the first time in a wukongopterid suggesting an arboreal life-style for these pterosaurs.


China; Kunpengopterus sinensis; Late Jurassic; Pterosauria; Wukongopteridae; Yanliao Biota

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare there are no competing interests.

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