Projects per year
Abstract / Description of output
The transition between Early to Middle Jurassic was significant in pterosaur evolution, when these volant reptiles exploded in diversity alongside dinosaurs and other animals. It has long been thought, however, that pterosaurs did not develop large wingspans until after the Jurassic, a notion challenged by the recent discovery of Dearc sgiathanach in the Bathonian-aged Lealt Shale Formation of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, whose holotype specimen had an estimated wingspan greater than 2.5 meters. We here report the discovery of a new pterosaur specimen from the Lealt Shale Formation, comprising a tibiotarsus, metatarsal, pedal phalanges, and caudal vertebrae. The elongate tail vertebrae with ossified processes indicate the specimen is a non-pterodactyloid pterosaur, albeit its fragmentary nature makes it difficult to determine whether it belongs to a new taxon. Its metatarsal and caudal vertebrae are considerably larger than corresponding bones in the Dearc holotype, indicating that it belonged to an even larger individual, thus demonstrating that pterosaurs with broad wingspans were not anomalous in the Middle Jurassic. The growing Middle Jurassic pterosaur record of Scotland and England, although mostly represented by isolated and fragmentary fossils, reveals a high diversity of clades, long obscured by the lack of well-preserved skeletons.
FingerprintDive into the research topics of 'New postcranial remains from the Lealt Shale Formation of the Isle of Skye, Scotland, showcase hidden pterosaur diversity in the Middle Jurassic'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
- 1 Finished