Ossos de mandíbula antiga descobertos no Saara ajudam na identificação de novo Pterodáctilo

sexta-feira, maio 28, 2010

Ancient Jaw Bones Discovered in Sahara Help Scientists Identify New Pterodactyl

ScienceDaily (May 27, 2010) — With the help of ancient fossils unearthed in the Sahara desert, scientists have identified a new type of pterosaur (giant flying reptile or pterodactyl) that existed about 95 million years ago.

An artists impression of Alanqa saharica. (Credit: By Davide Bonadonna)

According to the findings published in the scientific journal PLoS ONE, the scientists consider the newly identified pterosaur to be the earliest example of its kind.

Unearthed in three separate pieces, the jaw bone has a total length of 344mm (13.5 inches). Each piece is well preserved, uncrushed, and unlike most other pterosaur fossils, retains its original three dimension shape.

"This pterosaur is distinguished from all others by its lance-shaped lower jaw which had no teeth and looked rather like the beak of a heron," says Nizar Ibrahim, a PhD research scholar from University College Dublin, who led the expedition and is the lead author on the scientific paper.

"During the excavation, we also discovered a partial neck vertebra that probably belonged to the same animal, inferring a wing span of about six metres."

The scientists have named the new pterosaur Alanqa saharica from the Arabic word 'Al Anqa' meaning Phoenix, a mythological flying creature that dies in a fire and is reborn from the ashes of that fire.
Read more here/Leia mais aqui: Science Daily


A New Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco

Nizar Ibrahim1*, David M. Unwin2, David M. Martill3,Lahssen Baidder4, Samir Zouhri4

1 School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Dublin, Republic of Ireland, 2 School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester, Leicester, United Kingdom, 3 School of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, United Kingdom, 4 Laboratoire de Géosciences, Université Hassan II, Casablanca, Morocco


The Kem Kem beds in South Eastern Morocco contain a rich early Upper (or possibly late Lower) Cretaceous vertebrate assemblage. Fragmentary remains, predominantly teeth and jaw tips, represent several kinds of pterosaur although only one species, the ornithocheirid Coloborhynchus moroccensis, has been named. Here, we describe a new azhdarchid pterosaur, Alanqa saharica nov. gen. nov. sp., based on an almost complete well preserved mandibular symphysis from Aferdou N'Chaft. We assign additional fragmentary jaw remains, some of which have been tentatively identified as azhdarchid and pteranodontid, to this new taxon which is distinguished from other azhdarchids by a remarkably straight, elongate, lance-shaped mandibular symphysis that bears a pronounced dorsal eminence near the posterior end of its dorsal (occlusal) surface. Most remains, including the holotype, represent individuals of approximately three to four meters in wingspan, but a fragment of a large cervical vertebra, that probably also belongs to A. saharica, suggests that wingspans of six meters were achieved in this species. The Kem Kem beds have yielded the most diverse pterosaur assemblage yet reported from Africa and provide the first clear evidence for the presence of azhdarchids in Gondwana at the start of the Late Cretaceous. This, the relatively large size achieved by Alanqa, and the additional evidence of variable jaw morphology in azhdarchids provided by this taxon, indicates a longer and more complex history for this clade than previously suspected.

Citation: Ibrahim N, Unwin DM, Martill DM, Baidder L, Zouhri S (2010) A New Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco. PLoS ONE 5(5): e10875. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010875

Editor: Andrew Allen Farke, Raymond M. Alf Museum of Paleontology, United States of America

Received: December 24, 2009; Accepted: April 15, 2010; Published: May 26, 2010

Copyright: © 2010 Ibrahim et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funding: This research was supported by an Ad Astra Research Scholarship awarded to NI (http://www.ucd.ie/), financial support from the University of Portsmouth to DMM (http://www.port.ac.uk/), contributions from members of the December 2008 expedition to Morocco [Robert Loveridge, Richard Hing, Darren Naish] and a New Blood grant awarded to DMU by Leicester University (http://www.le.ac.uk/ms/contactus/davidun​win.html ). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

* E-mail: Nizar.Ibrahim@ucd.ie