Sunday, December 4, 2011

Cuspicephalus scarfi

Fig 1.- Reconstruction of Cuspicephalus scarfi.

In the series of British prehistoric animals, let me this time introduce you to a pterosaur. Cuspicephalus is known from a partial skull unearthed in the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Late Jurassic) of Dorset. This critter is possibly  related to the Chinese Darwinopterus.

A new monofenestratan pterosaur from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Upper Jurassic, Kimmeridgian) of Dorset, England, David M. Martill and Steve Etches, Acta Palaeontologica Polonica (2011)  in press


Abstract: A new specimen of slender skulled monofenestratan pterosaur from the Late Jurassic Kimmeridge Clay Formation of Dorset, UK, is referred to the new genus and species Cuspicephalus scarfi. The dentition and posterior skull morphology suggest affinities with Darwinopterus, but a close relationship cannot be proved. There are also some similarities with the pterodactyloid Germanodactylus cristatus, but the presence of teeth on the distal rostrum excludes it from that genus. Pterosaur remains are rare in the Upper Jurassic of the UK and this specimen represents the first significant cranial remains of a pterosaur from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation, and possibly the first non-pterodactyloid monofenestratan outside China.

Original artworks on Paleoexhibit are copyrighted to Nobu Tamura. Do not use without permission (Email: nobu dot tamura at yahoo dot com)

References:

David M. Martill and Steve Etches. 2011. A new monofenestratan pterosaur from the Kimmeridge Clay Formation (Upper Jurassic, Kimmeridgian) of Dorset, England. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica in press.

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