Project 860: B. Andres, J. M. Clark, X. Xu. 2014. The earliest pterodactyloid and the origin of the group. Current Biology. 24 (9):1011–1016.
Specimen: † Kryptodrakon progenitor (IVPP:V18184)

Abstract

The pterosaurs were a diverse, long-lived group of Mesozoic flying reptiles that underwent a body plan reorganization, adaptive radiation, and replacement of earlier forms midway through their long history, resulting in the origin of the Pterodactyloidea, a highly specialized clade that includes the largest known flying organisms. The sudden appearance and large suite of morphological features of this clade had been suggested to be the result of it originating in terrestrial environments, where the pterosaur fossil record has traditionally been poor, and its many features to be adaptations to those environments. However, little evidence has been available to test this hypothesis, and it has not been supported by previous phylogenies or early pterodactyloid discoveries. Here we report the earliest pterosaur with the diagnostic elongate metacarpus of the Pterodactyloidea, Kryptodrakon progenitor, gen. et sp. nov., from the terrestrial Middle-Upper Jurassic boundary of northwest China. Phylogenetic analysis recovers this species as the basal-most pterodactyloid and reconstructs both a terrestrial origin and a predominantly terrestrial history for the Pterodactyloidea. Phylogenetic comparative methods support this reconstruction by means of a significant correlation between wing shape and environment also found in modern flying vertebrates. The elongate metacarpus is both the diagnostic apomorphy for the Pterodactyloidea and likely the key innovation responsible for the radiation of the clade.


Read the article »

Article DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cub.2014.03.030

Project DOI: 10.7934/P860, http://dx.doi.org/10.7934/P860
This project contains
  • 17 Media
  • 2 Documents
  • 1 Taxon
  • 1 Specimen
Total size of project's media files: 73.2M

Download Project SDD File
Currently Viewing:
MorphoBank Project 860

    Authors' Institutions

    • The George Washington University

    • University of South Florida

    • Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, CAS



    Members

    member name taxa specimens media media
    notes
    Brian Andres
    Project Administrator
    Last logged in 05/08/14
    111717
    Maureen Admin
    Full membership
    Last logged in 01/21/20
    0000


    Project has no matrices defined.



    Project views

    type number of views Individual items viewed (where applicable)
    Total project views23372
    Project overview3602
    Media views14017Media search (4148 views); M331563 (1146 views); M326512 (568 views); M326521 (537 views); M326518 (570 views); M326516 (497 views); M326515 (536 views); M326523 (532 views); M326524 (518 views); M305316 (519 views); M326517 (544 views); M326514 (558 views); M326513 (581 views); M326519 (529 views); M305317 (592 views); M326520 (527 views); M326522 (557 views); M305314 (558 views);
    Documents list1806
    Specimen list2147
    Taxon list1800




    Project downloads

    type number of downloads Individual items downloaded (where applicable)
    Total downloads from project260
    Document downloads22Andres Supplemental Dataset 1 (9 downloads); Andres Supplemental Dataset 2 (13 downloads);
    Project downloads236
    Media downloads2M326512 (2 downloads);