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Neonate morphology and development in pterosaurs: evidence from a Ctenochasmatid embryo from the Early Cretaceous of Argentina

By
Laura Codorniú
Laura Codorniú
Departamento de Geología, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Av. Ejército de Los Andes 950, 5700 San Luis, ArgentinaConsejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas, Chacabuco y Pedernera, 5700 San Luis, Argentina
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Luis Chiappe
Luis Chiappe
The Dinosaur Institute, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, 900 Exposition Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90007, USA
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David Rivarola
David Rivarola
Departamento de Geología, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Av. Ejército de Los Andes 950, 5700 San Luis, Argentina
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Published:
January 01, 2018

Abstract:

We report on a diminutive pterosaur specimen (MIC-V246), from the Lower Cretaceous Lagarcito Formation, which has anatomical features and general proportions that agree with those of other juvenile specimens of the filter-feeding pterosaur Pterodaustro guinazui. MIC-V246 is nearly complete, with the majority of its bones in natural articulation. The specimen is preserved within a small oval surface inferred to demarcate the outline of an egg. It includes remains of the skull and mandible, some cervical, dorsal, sacral and caudal vertebrae, ribs, gastralia, both shoulder girdles, part of the ilium, and the forelimbs and hindlimbs. The skeleton is arranged in a position similar to that of avian embryos, with the wings folded sideways, the hindlimbs flexed, and the skull tucked beneath a wing. The bones are partially covered by an irregularly distributed substance differing in texture and colour from the bony elements, and identified as remnants of the eggshell. The diminutive size of the skeleton, along with its arrangement and morphology, support the identification of this specimen as one of the very few pterosaur embryos known worldwide. Its similarity in size to other Pterodaustro specimens interpreted as hatchlings suggests that MIC-V246 was near hatching when it died.

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Geological Society, London, Special Publications

New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology

D.W. E. Hone
D.W. E. Hone
Queen Mary University of London, UK
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M. P. Witton
M. P. Witton
University of Portsmouth, UK
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D. M. Martill
D. M. Martill
University of Portsmouth, UK
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The Geological Society of London
Volume
455
ISBN electronic:
9781786203366
Publication date:
January 01, 2018

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