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The Amateur Paleontologist

New Cretaceous Pterosaur from Southeastern France

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The Amateur Paleontologist

Just got this report of a new pterosaur (Mistralazhdarcho maggii) from the Upper Cretaceous of southeastern France :) The specimen was collected from the highly fossiliferous "Velaux-La Bastide Neuve" site (Bouches-du-Rhône region), a site known for diverse tetrapod remains. The remains described consist of a mandibular symphysis, a few vertebrae, and several limb bones (including 2 humeri, a radius, a pteroid, a metacarpal and a wing phalanx). The authors of the paper (see attached below) consider that due to incomplete ossification of the bones, the specimen might represent an immature individual. Mmaggii helps to provide more insight into the Late Cretaceous European azhdarchid radiation. 

 

Romain Vullo, Géraldine Garcia, Pascal Godefroit, Aude Cincotta & Xavier Valentin (2018)Mistralazhdarcho Maggii, Gen. Et Sp. Nov., A New Azhdarchid Pterosaur
from the Upper Cretaceous of Southeastern France, Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology, DOI: 10.1080/02724634.2018.1502670

 

Abstract:

A series of pterosaur bones from the Upper Cretaceous (Campanian) of Velaux (Bouches-du-Rhône, southeastern France) is described. This material, including both cranial and postcranial elements found in close association and likely belonging to a single immature individual, is assigned to a new genus and species of azhdarchid pterosaur, Mistralazhdarcho maggii. This large-sized taxon (wingspan ca. 4.5 m in the holotype, possibly reaching 5–6 m in mature individuals) is characterized by a slightly downturned mandibular symphysis that shows a ‘V’-shaped cross-sectional profile and bears a well-developed, anteriorly located median eminence on its dorsal surface. The presence of a median eminence suggests that Mistralazhdarcho might be closely related to Alanqa from the Cenomanian of Morocco. The material described here represents the first partial skeleton of a pterosaur recovered from the Late Cretaceous deposits of western Europe, and the new taxon is one of the most completely known European azhdarchids. Mistralazhdarcho is intermediate in size between the medium-sized genus Eurazhdarcho and the giant-sized genus Hatzegopteryx, two azhdarchids from the Maastrichtian of Romania. The discovery of Mistralazhdarcho suggests the presence of a third azhdarchid size class in the continental ecosystems of the latest Cretaceous European archipelago.

 

5bcb3c44bf05e_ScreenShot2018-10-20at16_30_32.png.bad83d3bb08f85891f431736958f5bf3.png

photography of the mandibular symphysis of Mmaggii (measures 264mm).

 

5bcb3cda106ef_ScreenShot2018-10-20at16_33_36.png.68feb1852b30ffd5634baf3ee9b7229b.png

 

 

Here's the paper ;) 

Vullo et al. 2018 Mistralazhdarcho.pdf

 

Hope you liked this!

-Christian

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