Ephemeral skull in Solnhofen sediments

The holotype
of Pterodactylus miicronyx, aka the Pester specimen  (Meyer 1856) ELTE V 256, is a small, apparently headless. but otherwise complete and articulated pterosaur specimen (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Tracing of the Pester specimen. The smear at the rostral end of the descending cervical series appears to be an elongate skull with larger sclerotic rings. This is where one should excavate to discover a buried skull.

Figure 1. Tracing of the Pester specimen. The smear at the rostral end of the descending cervical series appears to be an elongate skull with larger sclerotic rings. This is where one should excavate to discover a buried skull.

The Pester specimen 
was originally considered another species of Pterodactylus, but in the large pterosaur tree it nests basal to the cycnorhamphids. Unfortunately there are only a few traits that can be gleaned from the new data (skull length vs. torso length, etc.). Earlier I thought pedal digit 4 was shorter than shown here, but closer examination reveals that the ungual was preserved on top of the p4.3. The other pes shows that digits 2-4 were aligned distally.

Figure 2. The holotype of Pterodactylus micronys, aka the Pester specimen, may preserve ephemeral hints of its apparently missing skull.

Figure 2. The holotype of Pterodactylus micronys, aka the Pester specimen, may preserve ephemeral hints of its apparently missing skull.

References
von Meyer CEH 1856.  Zur Fauna der Vorwelt. Saurier aus dem Kupferschiefer der Zechstein-Formation. Frankfurt-am-Main. vi + 28 pp., 9 pls.
Osi A, Prondvai E and Géczy B 2010. The history of Late Jurassic pterosaurs housed in Hungarian collections and the revision of the holotype of Pterodactylus micronyx Meyer 1856 (a ‘Pester Exemplar’). In: Moody RTJ., Buffetaut E, Naish D and Martill DM (eds) Dinosaurs and Other Extinct Saurians: A Historical Perspective. Geological Society, London, Special Publications, 343, 277–286. DOI: 10.1144/SP343.17 0305-8719/10/
Wellnhofer P 1970. Die Pterodactyloidea (Pterosauria) der Oberjura-Plattenkalke Süddeutschlands. Abhandlungen der Bayerischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, N.F., Munich 141: 1-133.

wiki/Pterodactylus

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s