New pterosaur fossils from the Early Cretaceous (Albian) of Queensland, Australia

Fletcher, Tamara L. and Salisbury, Steven W. (2010) New pterosaur fossils from the Early Cretaceous (Albian) of Queensland, Australia. Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, 30 6: 1747-1759. doi:10.1080/02724634.2010.521929

Author Fletcher, Tamara L.
Salisbury, Steven W.
Title New pterosaur fossils from the Early Cretaceous (Albian) of Queensland, Australia
Journal name Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0272-4634
Publication date 2010-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1080/02724634.2010.521929
Volume 30
Issue 6
Start page 1747
End page 1759
Total pages 13
Editor Laura Healy
Mark V. H. Wilson
Robert R Reisz
Place of publication Norman, Okla., U.S.A.
Publisher University of Oklahoma
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences
040308 Palaeontology (incl.Palynology)
970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
060301 Animal Systematics and Taxonomy
Formatted abstract
Pterosaur fossils from Australia are rare. All the specimens that have been described previously are Cretaceous in age, with the majority deriving from the Aptian–Albian shallow marine succession within the Eromanga Basin of western Queensland. The Queensland specimens have tentatively been referred to the pterodactyloid clades Pteranodontidae, Ornithocheiridae, and Archaeopterodactyloidea (cf. Ctenochasmatoidea), each in varying taxonomic guises. Due to their fragmentary nature, more specific referrals of these specimens have not been possible. As such, the overall composition and more precise relationships of Australia’s Cretaceous pterosaur fauna have remained enigmatic. Since 1987, a number of new pterosaur specimens have been found in the shallow marine late Albian rocks of the Eromanga Basin of western Queensland. Four of these specimens are described herein: a partial mandible, a metacarpal IV, a wing phalanx, and a humerus. The mandible is assigned to Ornithocheiridae, gen. et sp. indet., whereas the metacarpal and wing phalanx are assigned Ornithocheiridae cf. Anhanguera. The morphology of the humerus suggests that it may belong to a ctenochasmatoid lophocratian. Based on these findings, we hypothesize that Australia’s Early Cretaceous pterosaur fauna comprises a mix of taxa already known to occur in Europe and South America in addition to a slightly younger ctenochasmatoid. However, the older specimens may alternatively represent new taxa that combine cranial characteristics of an Ornithocheirus-like taxon or a closely related form, with an Anhanguera-like postcranium. A more precise characterization of Australia’s Cretaceous pterosaur fauna cannot be resolved until more complete specimens are found.
©2010 by the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology
Keyword Eromanga Basin
1st pterosaur
South America
New Zealand
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Biological Sciences Publications
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Created: Wed, 03 Nov 2010, 16:35:30 EST by Gail Walter on behalf of School of Biological Sciences