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New material of Chaoyangopterus (Pterosauria: Pterodactyloidea) from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of western Liaoning, China

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Abstract:

A new edentulous pterosaur from the Yuanjiawa beds of the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation in Yuanjiawa, Chaoyang, western Liaoning, China, is described. The fossil, an incomplete and scattered skeleton, including partial skull and lower jaws, is identified as Chaoyangopterus zhangi, based on similar proportions of the limb bones. The specimen shows that Chaoyangopterus possessed moderately elongate mid-cervical vertebrae with low, blade-like neural spines and lacked lateral pneumatic foramina. This discovery not only further supports a distinct Chaoyangopteridae within the Azhdarchoidea, but also provides a new scope for reviewing the evolution of the family Azhdarchidae.
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