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Monograph: The Early Jurassic Pterosaur Dorygnathus Banthensis (Theodori, 1830)

Special Papers in Palaeontology - No. 80 - Cover Image
Publication: Special Papers in Palaeontology
Number: 80
Publication Date: 2008
Page(s): 1 107
Authored By: Kevin Padian
Addition Information

How to Cite

PADIAN, K. 2008. The Early Jurassic Pterosaur Dorygnathus Banthensis (Theodori, 1830). Speical Papers in Palaeontology, 80, 1-107.

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Wiley Published Book


Over 30 skeletons and dozens of isolated bones of the Liassic pterosaur Dorygnathus have been recovered from the Early Jurassic (Toarcian) of Baden-Wu¨rttemberg and Lower Saxony in Germany, and from Nancy, France. All but one specimen have been assigned to the species D. banthensis; the exception was assigned to a larger species, D. ‘mistelgauensis’, which new discoveries suggest is simply a large individual of D. banthensis. The form of the lower jaw and premaxillary teeth are diagnostic for the genus, as are several other features. Here I review the history of the understanding of Dorygnathus, describe the known specimens in public repositories, and characterize the general morphology and systematic position of the genus. Dorygnathus is distinguished by its extremely large anterior teeth (four premaxillary and three or four anterior dentary teeth), which are proportionally larger than in any other pterosaur. Its deep maxilla gives the skull a high, straight, gradual slope, and its long, deepened, upwardly curved mandibular symphysis is diagnostic for the taxon. Other features such as the proportions of the wing elements, the form of the pelvis, and the shape and proportions of the toes are equally characteristic. Dorygnathus is most closely related to Rhamphorhynchus and the Pterodactyloidea, and represents this lineage in the Early Jurassic of Europe.

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