The partial specimen is represented by a left pelvis and associated partial sacrum is uncrushed and an exciting addition to our knowledge of Early Cretaceous pterosaurs. It’s not very large (see scale bar, fig. 1). Here (Fig. 2) we’ll add some missing parts, colorize vertebrae and try to produce a more understandable specimen.
Naish et al. (2013) considered Vectidraco a basal azhdarchoid, which, in their terms meant close to the common ancestor of both azhdarchids and tapejarids (Fig. 2). The large pterosaur family tree, however, indicates that those two clades are not related to one another, despite sharing some traits, including a distinctive expanded posterior process of the ilium.
Here the closest match to the pelvis of Vectidraco is that of Tupuxuara, with the proviso that ancestors (Germanodactylidae) and sisters (Dsungaripteridae) to the Tapejaridae have an open ventral interosseous space and a smaller posterior process of the ilium. Tapejara does not fuse the pubis and ischium, but they are in contact. Earlier we looked at a tapejarid post-cranial specimen with a complete and ventrally fused pelvis (Sayao and Kellner 2006), close to Tupuxuara. For these phylogenetic bracketing reasons I presume the pelvis belongs to a smaller even more basal tapejarid along the lines of Sinopterus.
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.
Naish D, Simpson M and Dyke G 2013. A New Small-Bodied Azhdarchoid Pterosaur from the Lower Cretaceous of England and Its Implications for Pterosaur Anatomy, Diversity and Phylogeny. PLoS ONE 8(3): e58451. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058451 plosOne link
Sayão JM and Kellner AWA 2006. Novo esquelito parcial de pterossauro (Pterodactyloidea, Tapejaridae) do membro Crato (Aptiano), Formação Santana, Bacia do Araripe, Nordeste do Brasil. Estudos Geológicos 16(2):16-40.