Cretornis hlavaci Fric, 1881 from the Upper Cretaceous of Czech Republic (Pterosauria, Azhdarchoidea)

Publication Type:Journal Article
Year of Publication:2015
Authors:A. Averianov, Ekrt B.
Journal:Cretaceous Research
Start Page:164
Keywords:Azhdarchoidea, Cretaceous, Cretornis, Czech Republic, Pterosauria

Cretornis hlavaci Fric, 1881 from the Upper Cretaceous (Turonian) of Czech Republic is a valid taxon referred to Azhdarchoidea based on having a saddle-shaped humeral head, pneumatic foramen on proximal humerus present on anterior side and absent on posterior side, elongate deltopectoral crest with subparallel proximal and distal margins, pneumatic foramen absent on distal side of humerus, metacarpals IeIII not articulated with carpus and displaced on anterodorsal side of wing metacarpal, and wing metacarpal much longer than humerus. Absence of a pneumatic foramen on posterior side of proximal humerus suggests attribution of Cretornis hlavaci to Neoazhdarchia. It has a unique construction of the distal ulna with a dorsal articulation surface placed distinctly proximal to the tuberculum shared only with the non-azhdarchid azhdarchoid Montanazhdarcho minor from the Campanian of North America. Cretornis hlavaci differs from the latter taxon by the structure of its humerus and distinctly longer wing metacarpal. It is more derived than “Tapejaridae” but shares with Azhdarchidae the deltopectoral crest of the humerus displaced distally from humeral head. Cretornis cannot be assigned to Azhdarchidae because of the oval cross section of the second wing phalanx. A unique rhombic outline of the distal humerus of Cretornis hlavaci is a possible autapomorphy for this taxon. Its wing span estimated as 1.5e1.6 m. This is the first taxon of non-azhdarchid pterosaurs known from the Upper Cretaceous of the Eastern Hemisphere.

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