Caulkicephalus

Caulkicephalus is a genus of Ornithocheirid pterosaur, from the Isle of Wight off the coast of England.

Caulkicephalus
Temporal range: Early Cretaceous, 130 Ma
Caulkicephalus trimicrodon
Life restoration of Caulkicephalus.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Ornithocheiridae
Genus: Caulkicephalus
Steel et al., 2005
Species:
C. trimicrodon
Binomial name
Caulkicephalus trimicrodon
Steel et al., 2005

Description

Caulkicephalus size chart
C.trimicrodon with a human for scale

The holotype is IWCMS 2002.189.1, 2, 4: three pieces, more or less contiguous, of the front part of a snout. As paratypes have been referred: IWCMS 2002.189.3, a partial posterior skull roof; IWCMS 2003.2, a left quadrate; IWCMS 2003.4, a possible partial jugal; ICWMS 2002.237, a 44 millimetres long fragment of the first phalanx of the wing finger; IWCMS 2002.234.1-4, four, together 245 millimetres long, contiguous fragments of a first phalanx; IWCMS 2002.233, a possible distal end, 64 millimetres long, of a second phalanx; IWCMS 2002.236, a fragment of the shaft of possibly the fourth phalanx; and IWCMS 2003.3, a probable fragment of a hindlimb bone. The fossils have only been slightly compressed.

The snout fragments have a combined length of 290 millimetres. On the snout top the base of a crest is visible, not quite reaching its rounded tip. The teeth have, apart from some replacement teeth present deep in the jaw, been lost but their number, orientation and size can be inferred from the tooth sockets, which however are partly missing at the right side. These are oval and slightly elevated above the jaw bone. The first two tooth pairs were pointed somewhat to the front; the teeth more to the back pointed more sideways; the most posterior preserved stood perpendicular to the jaw. The teeth increased in size until the third pair which was the largest. The fourth pair was equal to the first but the fifth, sixth and seventh pairs were markedly smaller, less than half in size; it is this feature which is recalled by the specific name. Pairs eight, nine and ten again equalled the first. After a narrow hiatus between the second and third snout fragment four tooth sockets are present at each side of the latter, but these are not placed in opposite pairs. The number of teeth in the upper jaw thus seems to have been at least fourteen.

The smaller sized teeth were placed in a constriction of the snout, which thus had a broader end with larger teeth, a so-called "prey grab", usually interpreted as an adaptation to catch slippery prey such as fish.

The posterior skull fragment, a braincase which is rather damaged, shows on its top the base of a parietal crest, probably pointing towards the back. It seems to have been separate from the snout crest.

Caulkicephalus was by the describers assigned to the Ornithocheiridae in view of the narrowing in the middle of the snout. The snout crest was seen as an indication it belonged to the more general Ornithocheiroidea sensu Unwin, whereas the parietal crest was suggested to have been a synapomorphy, a shared new feature, of the more narrow group of the Euornithocheira. Unique characters of the species itself, its autapomorphies, are the details of its dentition, the downwards and backwards running suture between the praemaxilla and maxilla, and the fact the median ridge of the palate begins (or ends) at the ninth tooth pair.

Caulkicepahlus skull recon
Skull reconstruction, showing known areas in white

The layer the fossils were found in, does not consist of marine sediments, but contains land plant debris; this is seen as an indication of a more terrestrial habitat. David Martill estimated Caulkicephalus had a wingspan of around 5 metres (16.5 ft).

Discovery and naming

Between 1995 and 2003 bone fragments of an unknown pterosaur were found at the Yaverland locality near Sandown. The discoveries were made in or from a brown clay layer from the Wessex Formation of the Wealden Group, stemming from the Early Cretaceous (Barremian age, about 130 million years ago).

In 2005 a new genus was named and described by Lorna Steel, David Martill, David Unwin and John Winch. The type species is Caulkicephalus trimicrodon. The genus name is a translation of "Caulkhead", a traditional nickname for Isle of Wight residents, partially derived from Greek kephale, "head". The specific name, trimicrodon, means "three small teeth", in reference to the dentition.

See also

References

  • Steel, L., Martill, D.M., Unwin, D.M. and Winch, J. D. (2005). A new pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation (Lower Cretaceous) of the Isle of Wight, England. Cretaceous Research, 26, 686-698.

External links

2005 in paleontology

Paleontology or palaeontology (from Greek: paleo, "ancient"; ontos, "being"; and logos, "knowledge") is the study of prehistoric life forms on Earth through the examination of plant and animal fossils. This includes the study of body fossils, tracks (ichnites), burrows, cast-off parts, fossilised feces (coprolites), palynomorphs and chemical residues. Because humans have encountered fossils for millennia, paleontology has a long history both before and after becoming formalized as a science. This article records significant discoveries and events related to paleontology that occurred or were published in the year 2005.

Anurognathus

Anurognathus is a genus of small pterosaur that lived during the late Jurassic Period (Tithonian stage). Anurognathus was first named and described by Ludwig Döderlein in 1923. The type species is Anurognathus ammoni. The genus name Anurognathus is derived from the Greek αν/an- ("without"), оυρα/oura ("tail"), and γναθος/gnathos ("jaw") in reference to its unusually small tail relative to other "rhamphorhynchoid" (i.e. basal) pterosaurs. The specific name ammoni honours the Bavarian geologist Ludwig von Ammon, from whose collection Döderlein had acquired the fossil in 1922.

Changchengopterus

Changchengopterus is a genus of non-pterodactyloid pterosaur from China, Qinglong County, Hebei Province.

The fossil specimen, holotype CYGB-0036, of the type and only species, Changchengopterus pani, was found in the Tiaojishan Formation dating from the Callovian and named and described by Lü Junchang in 2009. The generic name combines the Changcheng, the Great Wall of China, with a Latinised Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name honours Pan Lijun, who collected the fossil and donated it to science. The holotype, a skeleton lacking the skull, represents a young juvenile, of which the combined paired wing elements measure just seventeen centimetres. In 2011, a second specimen was described, PMOL-AP00010, acquired in 2008 by the Paleontological Museum of Liaoning. It consists of a skeleton with lower jaws, of an adult individual.The wingspan of the referred specimen was in 2011 estimated at seventy centimetres. Already in 2010, some estimates for the genus had risen to 475 millimetres (18.7 in).In his original description, Lü's phylogenetic analysis concluded that Changchengopterus was a primitive pterosaur closely related to the earlier European pterosaur Dorygnathus, and he placed it in Rhamphorhynchidae. However, a subsequent study by Wang and colleagues (2010) noted some similarities with the wukongopterids, and they tentatively placed it in that family. Andres & Myers (2013) found it to be outside Wukongopteridae and slightly more closely related to the pterodactyloids within the larger group Monofenestrata.

Cimoliopterus

Cimoliopterus is a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Cretaceous of England, United Kingdom and Texas, United States.The type species, Cimoliopterus cuvieri, was previously considered parts of several different genera depending on author, but received its own genus in 2013.

Cuspicephalus

Cuspicephalus is an extinct genus of monofenestratan pterosaur known from Dorset in England.

Darwinopterus

Darwinopterus (meaning "Darwin's wing") is a genus of pterosaur, discovered in China and named after biologist Charles Darwin. Between 30 and 40 fossil specimens have been identified, all collected from the Tiaojishan Formation, which dates to the middle Jurassic period, 160.89–160.25 Ma ago. The type species, D. modularis, was described in February 2010. D. modularis was the first known pterosaur to display features of both long-tailed ('rhamphorhynchoid') and short-tailed (pterodactyloid) pterosaurs, and was described as a transitional fossil between the two groups. Two additional species, D. linglongtaensis and D. robustodens, were described from the same fossil beds in December 2010 and June 2011, respectively.

Dinosaur Isle

Dinosaur Isle is a purpose-built dinosaur museum located in Sandown on the Isle of Wight in southern England.The museum was designed by Isle of Wight architects Rainey Petrie Johns in the shape of a giant pterosaur. It claims to be the first custom-built dinosaur museum in Europe.

Graphical timeline of pterosaurs

Timeline showing the development of the extinct reptilian order Pterosauria from its appearance in the late Triassic period to its demise at the end of the Cretaceous, together with an alphabetical listing of pterosaur species and their geological ages.

Ikrandraco

Ikrandraco ("Ikran [a flying creature from Avatar with a crest on the lower jaw] dragon") is a genus of pteranodontoid pterosaur known from Lower Cretaceous rocks in northeastern China. It is notable for its unusual skull, which features a crest on the lower jaw.

List of creatures by Impossible Pictures

The following is a complete list of prehistoric creatures from the universe of the Walking with... series documentary, science fiction and fantasy television programmes, companion books and also any spin-off merchandise. Most of the shows produced by Impossible Pictures with BBC Worldwide and Discovery Channel in association with ProSieben and France 3 and created by Tim Haines and Jasper James. They used visual effects teams such as Framestore, The Mill and Jellyfish Pictures to bring back extinct creatures to life.

Monofenestrata

The Monofenestrata are an unranked group of pterosaurs that includes the family Wukongopteridae and the suborder Pterodactyloidea.The clade Monofenestrata was in 2009/2010 defined as the group consisting of Pterodactylus and all species sharing with Pterodactylus the synapomorphy, shared derived trait, of an external nostril confluent with the antorbital fenestra, the major skull opening on the side of the snout. The name is derived from Greek monos, "single", and Latin fenestra, "window". The concept was inspired by the discovery of Darwinopterus, a species combining a pterodactyloid-type skull with a more basal build of the remainder of the body. The Darwinoptera, a primitive subgroup of monofenestratans showing this transitional anatomy, was also named for Darwinopterus and defined as all descendants of its common ancestor with Pterorhynchus.The earliest known monofenestrate fossils have been found in the Stonesfield Slate formation of the United Kingdom, which dates to the Bathonian stage of the Middle Jurassic, dated to about 166 million years ago. Identified elements include cervical vertebrae, fourth metacarpals and a possible pterodactyloid synsacrum. Below is a cladogram showing the results of a phylogenetic analysis presented by Andres, Clark & Xu, 2014. This study found the two traditional groupings of ctenochasmatoids and kin as an early branching group, with all other pterodactyloids grouped into the Eupterodactyloidea.

Ornithocheiridae

Ornithocheiridae is a group of pterosaurs within the suborder Pterodactyloidea. They were among the last pterosaurs to possess teeth.

Prehistoric reptile

The term prehistoric reptile covers a broad category that is intended to help distinguish the dinosaurs from other prehistoric reptiles. As the dinosaurs, because of their long and successful reign for many millions of years, are almost exclusively dealt with in their own category of prehistoric life.

The category covers all the non-dinosaurian reptiles which are often erroneously considered to be dinosaurs, such as the seafaring varieties of plesiosaurs and the flying pterosaurs. Also included are ancient crocodiles such as Deinosuchus.

For information on the synapsids, which were previously known as "mammal-like reptiles" (including the well-known Dimetrodon), which are not part of the clade Sauropsida (with which "Reptilia" is generally synonymized), see Synapsid (amniotes related to mammals). For information on the ancestors of reptiles, traditionally classified as labyrinthodont amphibians, see Reptiliomorpha (reptile-like tetrapods).

Pterodaustro

Pterodaustro is a genus of Cretaceous pterodactyloid pterosaur from South America, which lived 105 million years ago.

Pterosaur size

Pterosaurs included the largest flying animals ever to have lived. They are a clade of prehistoric archosaurian reptiles closely related to dinosaurs. Species among pterosaurs occupied several types of environments, which ranged from aquatic to forested. Below is a list that comprises the largest pterosaurs known as of 2016.

The smallest known pterosaur is Nemicolopterus with a wingspan of about 250 mm (10 in). The specimen found may be a juvenile or a subadult, however, and adults may have been larger.

Quetzalcoatlus

Quetzalcoatlus northropi is a pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous of North America (Maastrichtian stage) and one of the largest-known flying animals of all time. It is a member of the family Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Its name comes from the Mesoamerican feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl.

Wukongopteridae

The Wukongopteridae are a group of basal pterosaurs, found in China and the UK. It contains seven species in five genera, all dated to the middle Jurassic period,The Wukongopteridae were first named by Wang et al. in 2009, not yet giving an exact definition. The clade Wukongopteridae was first defined by Wang et al. in 2010 as "the most recent common ancestor of Wukongopterus lii and Kunpengopterus sinensis, and all of its descendants".

Wukongopterus

Wukongopterus is a genus of basal pterosaur, found in Liaoning, China, from the Daohugou Beds, of the Middle or Late Jurassic. It was unusual for having both an elongate neck and a long tail.

The genus was described and named in 2009 by Wang Xiaolin, Alexander Kellner, Jiang Shunxing and Meng Xi. The genus name is derived from Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, the main hero of the Chinese classic novel Journey to the West, and a Latinised Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name honours Li Yutong, senior preparator of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology (IVPP).The genus is based on holotype IVPP V15113, a nearly complete but compressed skeleton lacking the back and middle of the skull. The type individual appears to have broken its shin during life. Its wingspan is estimated at 730 millimetres (29 in). Wukongopterus also may have had an uropatagium, a membrane between the hind legs.

Yaverland

Yaverland is a village on the Isle of Wight, just north of Sandown on Sandown Bay. It has about 200 houses. About ​1⁄3 of a mile away from the village is the Yaverland Manor and Church. Holotype fossils have been discovered here of Yaverlandia and a pterosaur, Caulkicephalus. The White Air extreme sports festival was held annually at Yaverland pay and display car park between 1997 and 2008, but moved to Brighton for 2009.The older part of the village is spread along the road to Bembridge by the Norman Church. The newer part is along the seafront, consisting entirely of a bungalow estate. The name appears to come from a local rendition of "over land" - being the land over the once-tidal causeway. An alternative derivation is from "Yar Island".

In the fields below Yaverland the archaeological television programme Time Team discovered a Roman smithy.

In 1545 a battle took place in Yaverland between French forces and local levies. The French were crossing Culver Down from their landing at Whitecliff Bay in order to attack Sandown Castle and link up with a force from Bonchurch. The French fought their way into Sandown but were defeated at Sandown Castle, then under construction in the sea.

The Isle of Wight Zoo is in Yaverland. The zoo is noted for its collection of rescued tigers and increasingly realistic and spacious enclosures for them. The zoo inhabits much of the converted buildings of the Granite Fort built by Lord Palmerston as a defense against the French in 1860. The grounds were used by the military during World War II as part of the Pluto pipeline to send oil under the English Channel to France to fuel the Allied war efforts.

By the sea is the Yaverland Sailing and Boat Club and along the seashore are fossil-bearing beds, which may be explored by guided walks from Dinosaur Isle. A holiday camp is located further north in the village, and was once the site of Yaverland Battery.

In November 2008, the Isle of Wight Council opened a new public toilet block which runs completely from renewable energy generated on-site. It is thought to be one of the "greenest" facilities in the UK.Southern Vectis bus route 8 links the village with the towns of Newport, Ryde, Bembridge and Sandown, including intermediate towns. Wightbus run route 22 around Culver Way to Sandown, after Southern Vectis withdrew route 10 from the area.

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