Pterodactyloidea facts for kids

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Pterodactyloids
Temporal range: Upper JurassicUpper Cretaceous
Pterodactylus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
(unranked): Archosauria
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Mesa-Museum of Natural History-Pterosaurs
The skeleton of a pterosaur on display in the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa Arizona

Pterodactyloidea is the suborder of short-tailed pterosaurs. Their fossil record starts in the late Jurassic. They became extinct in the K/T extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Pterodactylus, Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus are in this suborder.

Recent work shows that the group had more variety at the end of the Cretaceous than was thought earlier. In the early 2010s, several new pterosaur taxa were discovered dating to the late Cretaceous. These finds include some small sized pterosaur species.

At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs and most avian dinosaurs as well, and many other animals, seems also to have taken the pterosaurs.

Classification

Pterodactyloidea is traditionally considered to be the group of short-tailed pterosaurs with long wrists (metacarpus), compared with the relatively long tails and short wrist bones of basal pterosaurs ("rhamphorhynchoids"). In 2004, Kevin Padian formally defined Pterodactyloidea as an apomorphy-based clade containing those species possessing a metacarpal at least 80% of the length of the humerus, homologous with that of Pterodactylus.

A subgroup of pterodactyloids, called the Lophocratia, was named by David Unwin in 2003. Unwin defined the group as the most recent common ancestor of Pterodaustro guinazui and Quetzalcoatlus northropi, and all its descendants. This group was named for the presence of a head crest in most known species, though this feature has since been found in more primitive pterosaurs and was probably an ancestral feature for all pterodactyloids.

There are competing theories of pterodactyloid phylogeny. Below is a cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic analysis presented by Longrich, Martill, and Andres, 2018. This study found the two traditional groupings of ctenochasmatoids and kin as an early branching group, with all other pterodactyloids grouped into the Eupterodactyloidea.

 Caelidracones 

AnurognathidaeAnurognathusDB white background.jpg


 Pterodactyloidea 

KryptodrakonKryptodrakon.jpeg


Lophocratia
Archaeopterodactyloidea 

GermanodactylidaeGerm rhamph DB.jpg


 Euctenochasmatia 

PterodactylusPterodactylus BMMS7 life.png


 Ctenochasmatoidea 

Gallodactylidae



Ctenochasmatidae Pterodaustro BW.jpg





Eupterodactyloidea 

Haopterus


Ornithocheiroidea


Piksi


 Pteranodontoidea 
Ornithocheiromorpha

Hongshanopterus




Boreopteridae


Lanceodontia

Istiodactylidae



AnhangueriaLiaoningopterusDB flipped.jpg





Pteranodontia

NyctosauridaeNyctosaurus DB white background.jpg



PteranodontidaePteranodon longiceps mmartyniuk wiki.png





 Azhdarchoidea 
Tapejaromorpha

Bennettazhia


Tapejaridae


BakonydracoBakonydraco1DB.jpg





"Huaxiapterus" benxiensis



"Huaxiapterus" corollatus





Eopteranodon




Huaxiapterus



Sinopterus







Tapejarinae TapimpDB.jpg




 Neoazhdarchia 
Dsungaripteromorpha

ThalassodrominaeTupux longDB2.jpg



Dsungaripteridae



Neopterodactyloidea

Chaoyangopteridae



AzhdarchidaeQuetzalcoatlus07.jpg











Some studies based on a different type of analysis have found that this basic division into primitive (archaeopterodactyloid) and advanced (eupterodactyloid) species may not be correct. Beginning in 2014, Steven Vidovic and David Martill constructed an analysis in which several pterosaurs traditionally thought of as archaeopterodactyloids closely related to the ctenochasmatoids may have been more closely related to ornithocheiroids, or in some cases, fall outside both groups. The results of their updated 2017 analysis are shown below.

Pterodactyloidea

Eosipterus yangi




Pterodactylus antiquusPterodactylus BMMS7 life.png


Lophocratia


Diopecephalus kochi


Ctenochasmatoidea
Gallodactylidae

Aerodactylus scolopacicepsAerodactylus MCZ 1505.png




Aurorazhdarchidae



Gallodactylidae





Ctenochasmatidae






Altmuehlopterus ramphastinusPterodactylus BMMS7 life.png


Dsungaripteroidea

Germanodactylus cristatus




Elanodactylus prolatus


Ornithocheiroidea
Dsungaripteromorpha


Lonchodectes compressirostris




Prejanopterus curvirostra




Kepodactylus insperatus



Dsungaripteridae





Pteranodontoidea

OrnithocheiromorphaLiaoningopterusDB flipped.jpg





Hamipterus tianshanensis



Ikrandraco avatar






Istiodactylus


Pteranodontia

NyctosauridaeNyctosaurus DB white background.jpg



PteranodonPteranodon longiceps mmartyniuk wiki.png








Azhdarchoidea

Sinopterus dongi


Tapejarinae

Eoazhdarcho liaoxiensis


Neoazhdarchia

TapejaromorphaBakonydraco1DB.jpg



Bennettazhia oregonensis



Huaxiapterus jii



Thalassodromeus sethi



Tupuxuara leonardiiTupux longDB2.jpg



AzhdarchidaeQuetzalcoatlus07.jpg













Pterodactyloidea Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.