Taxonomy of the Lonchodectidae (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea)

A.O. Averianov

Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS, 2020, 324(1): 41–55   ·

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The pterodactyloid family Lonchodectidae includes three genera, Lonchodectes Hooley, 1914, Lonchodraco Rodrigues et Kellner, 2013, and Ikrandraco Wang et al., 2014, and four species, Lonchodectes compressirostris (Owen, 1851), Lonchodraco giganteus (Bowerbank, 1846), Ikrandraco avatar Wang et al., 2014, and Ikrandraco machaerorhynchus (Seeley, 1870) comb. nov. [=Ornithocheirus microdon Seeley, 1870 syn. nov.]. The holotype of Lonchodectes compressirostris (NHMUK PV 39410) consists of two fragments of the anterior rostrum, not the mandibular and rostrum fragments as was supposed previously. The difference between Lonchodectes and Ikrandraco is not clear and the taxa could be synonyms. The diagnostic characters for the Lonchodectidae are the presence of the palatal ridge, elevated alveolar margin of the upper and lower jaws, small teeth that are not varying in size, and a prominent mandibular crest (unknown for Lonchodectes). The family includes taxa with long and low rostrum and prominent mandibular crest (Ikrandraco and, possibly, Lonchodectes), or with both premaxil­lary and mandibular crests (Lonchodraco). Various phylogenetic analyses place the Lonchodectidae within the Ornithocheiroidea, frequently as a sister taxon to the Anhangueria. The family is known from the mid-Cretaceous (Albian-Turonian) of England (Lonchodectes compressirostris, Lonchodraco giganteus, Ikrandracomachaero­rhynchus), the Lower Cretaceous (Aptian) of China (Ikrandraco avatar), and the Late Cretaceous (Cenomanian) of European Russia (Lonchodraco (?) sp.). The putative records of the Lonchodectidae from the Lower Cretaceous of England (Serradraco sagittirostris (Owen, 1874), BEXHM 2015.18, and Palaeornis cliftii Mantell, 1844), Spain (Prejanopterus curvirostris Fuentes Vidarte et Meijide Calvo, 2010), and Brazil (Unwindia trigonus Martill, 2011) are reviewed. None of them can be attributed to that group.

Key words

Cretaceous, Lonchodectidae, Pterosauria, taxonomy

Submitted January 27, 2020  ·  Accepted February 3, 2020  ·  Published March 24, 2020


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