Flugsaurier 2018: The KUVP 967 specimen of Pteranodon

Flugsaurier 2018 part 2
Since the purpose of the symposium is increase understanding of pterosaurs, I hope this small contribution helps.

Brandão RS and Rodrigues T 2018
supports the integrity of the generic name, “Dawndraco” for a classic Pteranodon specimen. We looked at that issue earlier here and here. Bottom line: in the absence of a phylogenetic analysis that includes as many Pteranodon and outgroup specimens as in the large pterosaur tree (LPT, 233 taxa) nobody has any business lumping and separating one or two cherry-picked taxa from the long list currently attributed to Pteranodon. The evidence shows they are all congeneric (in the very stretched out pterosaur sense) and none are conspecific. The authors, like previous authors, do not realize their ‘Dawndraco‘ nests between several other Pteranodon specimens. That never happens elsewhere on anyone’s cladogram.

Brandão RS and Rodrigues T 2018 conclude:
“We regard Dawndraco kanzai as valid, and KUVP 967 as a referred specimen.”

Figure 1. The Pteranodon jaws KUVP 967.

Figure 1. The Pteranodon jaws KUVP 967.

The KUVP 967 specimen
(Figs. 1, 2) is known from a partial rostrum and partial mandible (brown and blue) graphically scaled and placed over other taxa. It was not included in the LPT because so little can be scored for it. Graphically, no two Pteranodon skulls are good matches for KUVP 967. As in Rhamphorhynchus, they are all individuals, only a few conspecific.

In figure 2
W is the undescribed USNM 12167 specimen. Z is the described UALVP 24238 specimen previously referred to Pteranodon, then to Dawndraco. The anterior rostrum  of KUVP 967 is too short to match specimen Z (UALVP 24238 ) and too tall to match specimen W (USNM 12167).

Figure 1. The KUVP 967 specimen (blue and brown) compared to two more completely known Pteranodon specimens.

Figure 2. Segment of the Pteranodon skulls page at ReptileEvolution.com. The KUVP 967 specimen (blue and brown) compared to two more completely known Pteranodon specimens. The anterior rostrum  of KUVP 967 is too short to match specimen Z (UALVP 24238 ) and too tall to match specimen W (USNM 12167).

References
Brandão RS and Rodrigues T 2018. Reappraisal of Dawndraco kanzai as a valid taxon. Flugsaurier 2018: the 6th International Symposium on Pterosaurs. Los Angeles, USA. Abstracts: 17—18.
Kellner AWA 2010. Comments on the Pteranodontidae (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea) with the description of two new species. Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciências, 82(4), 1063–1084.
Martin-Silverstone E. et al. 2017. Reassesment of Dawndraco kanzai Kellner, 2010 and reassignment of the type specimen to Pteranodon sternbergi Harksen, 1966. Vertebrate Anatomy Morphology Palaeontology, 3, 47§–59.

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