Acta Palaeontologica Polonica

First record of a Late Jurassic rhamphorhynchine pterosaur from Gondwana

Jhonatan Alarcón-Muñoz, Rodrigo A. Otero, Sergio Soto-Acuña, Alexander O. Vargas, Jennyfer Rojas, and Osvaldo Rojas

Acta Palaeontologica Polonica in press
available online 06 Sep 2021 doi:https://doi.org/10.4202/app.00805.2020

We describe partial remains of a non-pterodactyloid pterosaur from Upper Jurassic levels of the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The material includes a left humerus, a possible dorsal vertebra, and the shaft of a wing phalanx, all preserved in three dimensions and likely belonging to a single individual. The humerus has a hatchet-shaped deltopectoral crest, proximally positioned, and its shaft is markedly anteriorly curved, which are characteristic features of the clade Rhamphorhynchidae. In addition, the presence of a groove that runs along the caudal surface of the phalanx, being flanked by two asymmetric crests, is a distinctive feature of the clade Rhamphorhynchinae, which includes such genera as Rhamphorhynchus and Nesodactylus. Previous to this research, known records of Rhamphorhynchinae were restricted to Laurasia; thus, the specimen studied here represents the first evidence of this group found to date in Gondwana. Associated ammonoids allow us to assign the material to a middle Oxfordian age, which makes this specimen the oldest known pterosaur found in Chile, and the first of Oxfordian age in Gondwana. This discovery suggests that the clade Rhamphorhynchidae had a global distribution during the Late Jurassic.

Key words: Pterosauria, Rhamphorhynchidae, Rhamphorhynchinae, Oxfordian, Chile, Laurasia, Gondwana.

Jhonatan Alarcón-Muñoz [alarconmunoz@ug.uchile.cl], Red Paleontológica Universidad de Chile, Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile; Laboratorio de Zoología de Vertebrados, Departamento de Ciencias Ecológicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile; KayTreng Consultores. José Domingo Cañas 1640, DP 1502, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile. Rodrigo A. Otero [otero2112@gmail.com], Red Paleontológica Universidad de Chile, Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile; Consultora Paleosuchus Ltda., Huelén 165, Oficina C, Providencia, Santiago, Chile; Museo de Historia Natural y Cultural del Desierto de Atacama. Interior Parque El Loa s/n, Calama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile. Sergio Soto-Acuña [sesotacu@ug.uchile.cl], Red Paleontológica Universidad de Chile, Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile; KayTreng Consultores. José Domingo Cañas 1640, DP 1502, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile. Alexander O. Vargas [alexvargas@uchile.cl], Red Paleontológica Universidad de Chile, Laboratorio de Ontogenia y Filogenia, Departamento de Biología, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Chile, Las Palmeras 3425, Ñuñoa, Santiago, Chile. Jennyfer Rojas [jennyfer.rojas@icloud.com] and Osvaldo Rojas [orojas@calamacultural.cl], Museo de Historia Natural y Cultural del Desierto de Atacama. Interior Parque El Loa s/n, Calama, Región de Antofagasta, Chile.


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