Moganopterus, the Latest OMG Pterosaur

Lü et al. 2012 recently reported on a new Early Cretaceous pterosaur, Moganopterus zhuiana (Fig. 1). It is the largest toothed pterosaur found to date. And… it’s another one of those gotta-see-it-to-believe-it pterosaurs. The skull was 3/4 of a meter in length! The skull and anterior cervicals were discovered by splitting a plate and counterplate, so each one largely exposes the inside of the skull.

Moganopterus, the largest toothed pterosaur.

Figure 1. Click to enlarge. Moganopterus, the largest toothed pterosaur. The counterplate has been photographically reversed.

The Lü et al. 2012 abstract:  A new pterosaur Moganopterus zhuiana gen. et sp. nov. is erected based on a complete skull with lower jaws and anterior cervical vertebrae. It is characterized by much elongated upper and lower jaws with at least 62 total, long, curved teeth with sharp tips, a well developed parietal crest extending posterodorsally, forming an angle of 15 degrees with the ventral margin of the skull, the ratio of length to width of cervical vertebrae greater than 5:1. The skull length is 750 mm, and it is the largest toothed pterosaur found so far in the world. Based on this new pterosaur, the Boreopteridae can be divided into two subgroups: Boreopterinae sub-fam. nov. and Moganopterinae sub-fam. nov., which is also confirmed by the phylogenetic analysis.

Lü et al. (2012) nested Moganopterus with Feilongus, which was confirmed by the large pterosaur study. Their new pterosaur family tree will be our focus tomorrow.

As always, I encourage readers to see specimens, make observations and come to your own conclusions. Test. Test. And test again.

Evidence and support in the form of nexus, pdf and jpeg files will be sent to all who request additional data.

Lü J, Pu H-Y, Xu L, Wu Y-H and Wei X-F 2012.
 Largest Toothed Pterosaur Skull from the Early Cretaceous Yixian Formation of Western Liaoning, China, with Comments On the Family Boreopteridae. Acta Geologica Sinica 86 (2): 287-293. online.

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