Its remains were collected but not prepared by Barnum Brown in 1918, from rocks better known for their fossils of marine life. When seven black chalkstone blocks were prepared from 1966 by Richard Lund by dissolving the substrate in acid, this revealed the remains of a pterosaur.
Ned Colbert described and named the genus in 1969. The type species is Nesodactylus hesperius. The genus name is derived from Greek nesos, "island" and daktylos, "finger", a reference to the island of Cuba and the typical wing finger of pterosaurs. The specific name means "western", from Greek hesperios.
The genus is based on holotype AMNH 2000, a partial skeleton including a skull fragment, numerous vertebrae from all parts of the spine and tail, zygapophyses (interpreted by Colbert as ossified tendons) on the tail, the pectoral girdle and a very deeply keeled sternum, arms and partial hands, part of the pelvis, parts of both femorae, partial metatarsals, and ribs. The specimen was disarticulated but associated and not very compressed; during the preparation from the limestone with acid, the bones were not completely removed.
Colbert found Nesodactylus to have had longer wings and more robust limbs and longer legs than related Rhamphorhynchus, although of a similar size and overall anatomy. He classified it as a rhamphorhynchid and more precisely as a member of the Rhamphorhynchinae.
In 1977 James A. Jensen and John Ostrom by mistake referred to it as Nesodon (1977). Although there is little overlapping material with contemporaneous Cacibupteryx, the two are clearly different based on details of the elbow and quadrate. At least one recent review suggests it was a rhamphorhynchine, while another does not classify it.
Allkaruen (meaning "ancient brain") is a genus of rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur from the Early-to-Middle Jurassic Cañadon Asfalto Formation in Argentina. It contains a single species, A. koi.Anchisauria
The Anchisauria were a clade of sauropodomorph dinosaurs that lived during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The name Anchisauria was first used by Galton and Upchurch in the second edition of The Dinosauria. Galton and Upchurch assigned two families of dinosaurs to the Anchisauria: the Anchisauridae and the Melanorosauridae. The more common prosauropods Plateosaurus and Massospondylus were placed in the sister clade Plateosauria.
However, recent research indicates that Anchisaurus is closer to sauropods than traditional prosauropods; thus, Anchisauria would also include Sauropoda.The following cladogram simplified after an analysis presented by Blair McPhee and colleagues in 2014.Averostra
Averostra, or "bird snouts", is a clade that includes most theropod dinosaurs that have a promaxillary fenestra (fenestra promaxillaris), an extra opening in the front outer side of the maxilla, the bone that makes up the upper jaw. Two groups of averostrans, the Ceratosauria and the Orionides, survived into the Cretaceous period. When the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event occurred, ceratosaurians and two groups of orionideans within the clade Coelurosauria, the Tyrannosauroidea and Maniraptoriformes, were still extant. Only one subgroup of maniraptoriformes, Aves, survived the extinction event and persisted to the present day.Avetheropoda
Avetheropoda, or "bird theropods", is a clade that includes carnosaurians and coelurosaurs to the exclusion of other dinosaurs.Cacibupteryx
Cacibupteryx is a genus of rhamphorhynchid "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaur from the middle-late Oxfordian-age Upper Jurassic Jagua Formation of Pinar del Río, Cuba.
The genus was named in 2004 by Zulma Gasparini, Marta Fernández and Marcelo de la Fuente. The type species is Cacibupteryx caribensis. The genus name is derived from Cacibu, the "Lord of the Sky" in Taíno and Greek pteryx, "wing". The specific name refers to the Caribbean, Caribe in Spanish.
The genus is based on holotype IGO-V 208, a partial but well-preserved uncrushed skull — missing the tip of the snout, teeth, and lower jaws — and fragmentary left wing: the distal end of the ulna, fragments of the radius, and the first and fourth phalanx of the wing finger. The partial skull is seventeen centimeters long (6.7 inches), is preserved in three dimensions, and has a broad roof. The wingspan and length were not estimated by the describers, but it was indicated to be a relatively large form.The describers assigned Cacibupteryx to the Rhamphorhynchidae. Although there is little overlapping material with contemporaneous Nesodactylus from the same location, the two are clearly different as proven by details of the elbow and quadrate. Cacibupteryx is one of the most complete Oxfordian pterosaurs, and demonstrates additional Oxfordian pterosaur diversity. Phylogenetic analyses have found it to be a member of the subfamily Rhamphorhynchinae, closely related to Rhamphorhynchus and Nesodactylus.Cerapoda
Cerapoda ("ceratopsians and ornithopods") is a clade of the dinosaur order Ornithischia.Comodactylus
Comodactylus is a genus of "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaur from the Kimmeridgian-Tithonian-age Upper Jurassic Morrison Formation of Wyoming, United States, named for a single wing metacarpal.In 1879 collector William Harlow Reed sent some fossil material he had dug up at Como Bluff in Quarry N° 9, or the "Mammal Quarry", to his employer Professor Othniel Charles Marsh at New Haven. Among it was the bone of a pterosaur, that was subsequently filed, stored and forgotten.
However, in 1981 Peter Galton named, based on this bone, the genus Comodactylus. The type species is Comodactylus ostromi. The genus name is derived from Como Bluff and Greek daktylos, "finger", referring to the wing finger typical of pterosaurs. The specific name honours John Ostrom.
The holotype is YPM 9150, consisting of an intact fourth metacarpal, 57.5 millimetres long. The metacarpal is quite robust with especially the proximal end, that touching the wrist bones, being very expanded. Such proportions are typical for basal pterosaurs, so Comodactylus was not a member of the, advanced, Pterodactyloidea. To what other pterosaur group it did belong has, however, proven difficult to determine, due to a lack of information. The metacarpal is the only known part of the animal. Kevin Padian in 1989 considered it a nomen dubium. David Unwin in 1993 suggested an affinity with Nesodactylus.
The wingspan has been estimated at 2.5 metres (8.2 ft), exceptionally large for a pterosaur not belonging to the Pterodactyloidea. Comodactylus was also the first pterosaur outside of that group, that was found in America.Dinosauriformes
Dinosauriformes is a clade of archosaurian reptiles that include the dinosaurs and their most immediate relatives. All dinosauriformes are distinguished by several features, such as shortened forelimbs and a partially to fully perforated acetabulum, the hole in the hip socket traditionally used to define dinosaurs. The oldest known member is Asilisaurus, dating to about 245 million years ago in the Anisian age of the middle Triassic period.Haya griva
Haya is an extinct genus of basal neornithischian dinosaur known from Mongolia.Jeholosauridae
Jeholosaurids were herbivorous neornithischian dinosaurs from the Cretaceous Period (Aptian - Santonian, with a possible Campanian record) of Asia. The family was first proposed by Han et al. in 2012. The jeholosaurids were defined as those ornithischians more closely related to Jeholosaurus shangyuanensis than to Hypsilophodon foxii, Iguanodon bernissartensis, Protoceratops andrewsi, Pachycephalosaurus wyomingensis, or Thescelosaurus neglectus. The Jeholosauridae includes the type genus Jeholosaurus and Yueosaurus.Jingshanosaurus
Jingshanosaurus (meaning "Jingshan lizard") is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the early Jurassic period.Melanorosauridae
The Melanorosauridae were a family of sauropodomorph dinosaurs which lived during the Late Triassic and Early Jurassic. The name Melanorosauridae was first coined by Friedrich von Huene in 1929. Huene assigned several families of dinosaurs to the infraorder "Prosauropoda": the Anchisauridae, the Plateosauridae, the Thecodontosauridae, and the Melanorosauridae. Since then, these families have undergone numerous revisions. Galton and Upchurch (2004) considered Camelotia, Lessemsaurus, and Melanorosaurus members of the family Melanorosauridae. A more recent study by Yates (2007) indicates that the melanorosaurids were instead early sauropods.Neotheropoda
Neotheropoda (meaning "new theropods") is a clade that includes coelophysoids and more advanced theropod dinosaurs, and the only group of theropods who survived the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event. Yet all of the neotheropods became extinct during the early Jurassic period except for Averostra.Orionides
Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.Orodrominae
Orodrominae is a subfamily of parksosaurid dinosaurs from the Cretaceous of North America and Asia.Raeticodactylidae
Raeticodactylidae is a family of eudimorphodontoid eopterosaurian pterosaurs that lived in Switzerland during the Late Triassic. The family includes Caviramus, and the type genus Raeticodactylus, which are both known from the Kössen Formation, around 205 mya. Raeticodactylidae was first used in 2014 by Andres et al., as a group of all pterosaurs closer to Raeticodactylus than Eudimorphodon. The following phylogenetic analysis follows the topology of Andres et al. (2014).Rhamphorhynchidae
Rhamphorhynchidae is a group of early "rhamphorhynchoid" pterosaurs named after Rhamphorhynchus, that lived in the Late Jurassic. The family Rhamphorhynchidae was named in 1870 by Harry Govier Seeley.Riojasauridae
Riojasauridae is a family of sauropod-like dinosaurs from the Upper Triassic. It is known primarily from the genera Riojasaurus and Eucnemesaurus. Sites containing Riojasauridae include the Lower Elliot Formation of Orange Free State, South Africa (where fossils of Eucnemesaurus have been found), and Ischigualasto, in La Rioja Province, Argentina ( where fossils of Riojasaurus have been recovered).Xixiposaurus
Xixiposaurus is a genus of prosauropod dinosaur which existed in what is now Lower Lufeng Formation, China during the lower Jurassic period. It was first named by Sekiya Toru in 2010 and the type species is Xixiposaurus suni.