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New material of Elanodactylus prolatus Andres & Ji, 2008 (Pterosauria: Pterodactyloidea) from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of western Liaoning, China

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Abstract:

A new specimen of Elanodactylus prolatus Andres & Ji, 2008 is described from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Chaoyang, western Liaoning, China. The new specimen confirms the validity of E. prolatus and its unexpected feature, unique among pterodactyloids, the first wing phalanx of E. prolatus being shorter than the second and third wing phalanges. Additionally, the specimen provides new information about the pelvic girdle and hind limb: puboischiadic plate with a prominent, tongue-like ventral process; a semicircular prepubis; long and slender metatarsal III; and strongly reduced pedal digit V. Moreover, the elongate second and third wing phalanges possibly represent an independently evolved feature, which convergent on that seen in primitive members of the rhamphorhynchoids. Especially, when combined with recent discoveries of the Anurognathidae, this feature of Elanodactylus further increases the complexity of the pattern of wing phalanx proportions among Pterosauria.

Keywords: CTENOCHASMATIDAE; EARLY CRETACEOUS; PTERODACTYLOIDEA; PTEROSAURIA; WESTERN LIAONING; YIXIAN FORMATION

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1127/0077-7749/2009/0022

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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