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Pterosauria (pterosaur)

Reptilia -

Pterosauria was named by Kaup (1834). It was considered monophyletic by Nesbitt (2011).

It was synonymized subjectively with Ornithosaurii by Bonaparte (1850); it was synonymized subjectively with Ornithosauria by Cope (1871); it was reranked as the family Pterosauria by Günther (1886); it was reranked as the subclass Pterosauria by Gadow (1898); it was corrected as Pterosauri by Hay (1902), Jaekel (1910) and Jaekel (1911); it was reranked as the superorder Pterosauria by Olshevsky (1991); it was reranked as the unranked clade Pterosauria by Gardiner (1982), Sereno (1991) and Nesbitt (2011).

It was assigned to Rhamphosauria by Haeckel (1866); to Ornithosauria by Günther (1886); to Diapsida by Osborn (1903), Osborn (1903) and Osborn (1904); to Hyperosauria by Jaekel (1910) and Jaekel (1911); to Archosauromorpha by Huene (1954); to Reptilia by Mantell (1854), Owen (1861), Zittel (1890), Gadow (1898), Hay (1902), Swinton (1934), Kuhn (1946) and Estes (1964); to Archosauria by Kuhn (1966); to Archosauria by Kuhn (1964), Bakker and Galton (1974) and Thulborn (1975); to Aves by Gardiner (1982); to Archosauromorpha by Benton (1985); to Dinosauria by Bakker (1986); to Ornithosuchia by Gauthier et al. (1989); to Archosauria by Olshevsky (1991); to Ornithodira by Gauthier (1986), Benton (1990), Sereno and Arcucci (1990), Sereno (1991) and Novas (1996); to Archosauria by Roxo (1937), Carroll (1988) and Delsate and Wild (2000); and to Pterosauromorpha by Nesbitt (2011).

Sister taxa

View classification of included taxa

Synonymy list
YearName and author
1834Pterosauria Kaup
1838Ornithosauria Bonaparte
1843Ornithosauri Fitzinger p. 35
1850Ornithosaurii Bonaparte p. 1
1854Pterosauria Mantell p. 646
1859Pterodactylus primus Deffner and Fraas
1861Pterosauria Owen p. 270
1864Pterodactylus hopkinsi Seeley
1864Pterodactylus oweni Seeley
1865Pterodactylus huxleyi Seeley
1866Pterosauria Haeckel p. CXXXVIII
1869Ptenodactylus brachyrhinus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus capito Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus crassidens Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus dentatus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus enchorhynchus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus eurygnathus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus macrorhinus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus oweni Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus oxyrhinus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus platystomus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus polyodon Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus scaphorhynchus Seeley
1869Ptenodactylus tenuirostris Seeley
1870Pterodactylus curtus Owen
1870Pterodactylus nobilis Owen
1871Ornithosauria Cope p. 234
1873Pterodactylus suprajurensis Sauvage
1874Pterodactylus manselii Owen
1874Pterodactylus pleydellii Owen
1875Ornithosauria Cope p. 12
1881Laopteryx priscus Marsh
1883Ornithocheirus hilsensis Koken p. 824
1886Ornithosauria Günther p. 443
1886Pterosauria Günther p. 444
1887Ornithosauria Baur p. 101
1888Ornithocheirus curtus Lydekker
1888Ornithocheirus nobilis Lydekker
1889Ornithocheirus nobilis Newton p. 260
1890Rhamphorhynchus jessoni Lydekker
1890Pterosauria Zittel pp. 450, 773–775
1890Pterodactylus manseli Zittel p. 793
1890Pterodactylus pleydelli Zittel p. 793
1890Pterodactylus primus Zittel p. 793
1891Rhamphorhynchus manselii Lydekker
1891Rhamphorhynchus pleydellii Lydekker
1891Rhamphorhynchus suprajurensis Lydekker
1898Pterosauria Gadow p. 23
1898Ornithosauria Woodward p. 141
1900Rhamphorhynchus suprajurensis Sauvage p. 416
1900Laopteryx priscus Van Den Broeck p. 72
1900Ornithocheirus curtus Van Den Broeck p. 106
1900Ornithocheirus nobilis Van Den Broeck p. 106
1902Pterosauri Hay p. 506
1902Laopteryx priscus Hay p. 518
1903Pterosauria Osborn p. 276
1904Pterosauria Osborn p. 114
1910Pterosauri Jaekel p. 338
1911Pterosauri Jaekel p. 165
1933Archaeopteryx vicensensis Lambrecht
1933Laopteryx priscus Lambrecht p. 96
1934Pterosauria Swinton p. 20
1937Pterosauria Roxo p. 44
1946Pterosauria Kuhn p. 66
1954Pterosauria Huene p. 55
1958Pterodactylus manseli Delair p. 70
1958Pterodactylus pleydelli Delair p. 70
1958Pterodactylus suprajurensis Delair p. 70
1964Pterosauria Estes p. 145
1964Pterosauria Kuhn p. 312
1966Pterosauria Kuhn p. 107
1971Laopteryx prisca Brodkorb p. 29
1974Pterosauria Bakker and Galton p. 171
1974Campylognathoides indicus Jain
1975Pterosauria Thulborn p. 267
1978Laopteryx priscus Brodkorb p. 224
1981Laopteryx priscus Galton p. 1120
1982Pterosauria Gardiner p. 229
1984Limnornis corneti Kessler and Jurcsák p. 397
1985Pterosauria Benton p. 154
1985Palaeolimnornis corneti Jurcsák and Kessler p. 138
1986Pterosauria Bakker pp. 459-460
1986Pterosauria Gauthier
1986Eurolimnornis Kessler and Jurcsák p. 289
1987Eurolimnornis corneti Kessler p. 129
1988Pterosauria Carroll
1989Pterosauria Gauthier et al. p. 346
1990Pterosauria Benton p. 13
1990Pterosauria Sereno and Arcucci p. 39 fig. 7
1991Pterosauria Olshevsky p. 59
1991Pterosauria Sereno p. 34
1996Palaeocursornis corneti Bock and Bühler p. 512
1996Eurolimnornis Bock and Bühler p. 513
1996Pterosauria Novas p. 737 fig. 10
2000Pterosauria Delsate and Wild p. 7
2002Eurolimnornis Hope p. 352
2006Laopteryx priscus Chure et al. p. 236
2011Pterosauria Nesbitt fig. 52

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phylumChordataHaeckel 1874
subclassDipnotetrapodomorpha(Nelson 2006)
SauriaGauthier 1984
Archosauromorpha(Huene 1946)
ArchosauriformesGauthier 1986
PterosauromorphaPadian 1997
Pterosauria(Kaup 1834)
Pterosauria(Kaup 1834)

If no rank is listed, the taxon is considered an unranked clade in modern classifications. Ranks may be repeated or presented in the wrong order because authors working on different parts of the classification may disagree about how to rank taxa.

R. Owen 1861Pectoral members, by the elongation of the antibrachium and fifth digit, adapted for flight. Vertebra procoelian; those of the neck very large, those of the pelvis small. Most of the bones pneumatic. Head large ; jaws long, and armed with teeth.
K. A. v. Zittel 1890Körper vogelähnlich, von geringer oder massiger Grösse
mit kurzem oder langem Schwanz. Wirbel und Extremitätenknochen hohl, pneumatisch. Hals kräftig, ziemlich lang, mit dem Schädel einen rechten Winkel bildend. Hals- und Rückenwirbel procöl. Schwanzwirbel amphicöl. Sacrum mit drei bis fünf Wirbeln. Vordere Rückenrippen zweiköpfig. Bauchrippen vorhanden. Schädel vogelartig mit zugespitztem Schnabel, Nähte undeutlich; Kiefer bezahnt oder zahnlos. Zähne in Alveolen. Quadratbein lang, unbeweglich. Seitliche Schläfenlöcher knöchern umgrenzt. Augenhöhlen meist mit Scleroticaring. Brustbein gross, schildförmig, vorne gekielt. Clavicula fehlt. Vorderfüsse durch starke Verlängerung des fünften Fingers, woran sich eine Flughaut anheftet als Flugorgan entwickelt. Tarsus mit zwei Reihen von Knöchelchen. Metatarsalia dünn, schlank; Hinterfüsse vier- bis fünfzehig. Hautnackt.
No measurements are available
Composition: phosphaticsubp
Maximum body mass: 544 kgs
Minimum body mass: 259 kgs
Environment: marineo
Locomotion: actively mobilec
Life habit: volanto
Diet: piscivoreo
Comments: active flyers (Padian 1983) and mostly piscivorous (Wang and Zhou 2006)o
Created: 2009-01-04 11:38:30
Modified: 2017-04-17 10:39:23
Source: s = species, o = order, c = class, subp = subphylum
References: Padian 1985, Witton 2008, Carroll 1988, Hendy et al. 2009

Age range

Maximum range based only on fossils: base of the Alaunian to the top of the Late/Upper Maastrichtian or 215.56000 to 66.00000 Ma
Minimum age of oldest fossil (stem group age): 212.0 Ma

Collections (692 total)

Oldest occurrences

Time interval Ma Country or state Original ID and collection number
Carnian - Norian237.0 - 208.5United Kingdom (Scotland) Scleromochlus taylori (57948)
Carnian - Norian237.0 - 208.5Poland (Opole) Pterosauria indet. (61449)
Late/Upper Triassic237.0 - 201.3USA (Utah) Dimorphodontidae indet. (183201)
Norian228.0 - 208.5Greenland (East Greenland) Eudimorphodon sp. (26995)
Norian228.0 - 208.5USA (Arizona) Pterosauria indet. (39160)
Norian228.0 - 208.5Argentina (San Juan) Pterosauria indet. (182613 182614)
Norian228.0 - 208.5USA (New Mexico) Pterosauria indet. (83740)
Norian228.0 - 208.5Italy (Friuli Venezia Giulia) Seazzadactylus venieri (205840)
Alaunian215.56 - 212.0Italy (Lombardia) Eudimorphodon ranzii (36377) Eudimorphodon ranzii, Pterosauria indet., Peteinosaurus zambelli, Carniadactylus rosenfeldi (59639)
Alaunian215.56 - 212.0Luxembourg (Diekirch) Eudimorphodon sp. (56047)
Alaunian215.56 - 212.0Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) Eudimorphodon rosenfeldi (83417) Eudimorphodon sp. (83361) Preondactylus buffarinii (83392) Pterosauria indet. (83396) Pterosauria indet., Preondactylus buffarinii (83370)
Alaunian - Sevatian215.56 - 205.6Italy (Friuli-Venezia Giulia) Austriadactylus cristatus, Preondactylus buffarinii (83471) Eudimorphodon sp. (83418 83421)
Sevatian212.0 - 205.6Austria (Tyrol) Austriadactylus cristatus (68334)
Sevatian212.0 - 205.6Italy (Lombardia) Eudimorphodon ranzii (94207)
Sevatian212.0 - 205.6Austria (Tirol) Eudimorphodon ranzii (83351)
Sevatian - Rhaetian212.0 - 201.3Switzerland (Canton Grisons) Caviramus schesaplanensis (87875) Raeticodactylus filisurensis (87874)
Rhaetian208.5 - 201.3Switzerland (Schaffhausen) Eudimorphodon sp. (51235) Pterosauria indet., Eudimorphodon sp. (47803)
Rhaetian208.5 - 201.3France (Lorraine) Eudimorphodon sp. (36106 92109)
Rhaetian208.5 - 201.3United Kingdom (England) Pterosauria indet. (13175 13176 13183)
Rhaetian208.5 - 201.3Luxembourg Eudimorphodon sp. (67895)