Sordes was a small pterosaur from the late Jurassic (Oxfordian/Kimmeridgian) Karabastau Svita of Kazakhstan.

The genus was named in 1971 by Aleksandr Grigorevich Sharov.[1] The type species is Sordes pilosus. The genus name is Latin for "filth" or "scum", a reference to evil spirits in local folklore. The specific name is Latin for "hairy"; despite sordes being feminine, it has not yet been amended to pilosa.

Temporal range: Late Jurassic, 155.7 Ma
Sordes pilosus skeleton
Fossil specimen
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Clade: Breviquartossa
Genus: Sordes
Sharov, 1971
Type species
Sordes pilosus
Sharov, 1971


Sordes skeletal
Skeletal reconstruction of S. pilosus, Holotype PIN 2585/3

Sordes had a 0.63 m (2 ft) wingspan. The wings were relatively short. Sordes had, according to Sharov and Unwin, wing membranes attached to the legs and a membrane between the legs. It had a short neck. It had a long tail, accounting for over half its length, with at the end an elongated vane.

Skull and dentition

It had a slender, not round, head with moderately long, pointed jaws. The skull was about 8 cm (3.2 in) long. Unlike many pterosaurs, it had no head crest. The teeth in the frontal half of the jaws are large and pointed to facilitate prey capture. The teeth beyond these in the rear half of the jaw are much smaller and more numerous than those at the front, suggesting that they were more for crushing. Together these two types of teeth indicate specialisation for prey that was difficult to catch yet required some effort to eat. Likely contenders are invertebrates with tougher exoskeletons, or amphibians that were slippery to catch and then required some crunching before they could be swallowed.


Sordes pilosus
Holotype specimen

The fossil shows remains of the soft parts, such as membranes and hair-like filaments. This was the first unequivocal proof that pterosaurs had a layer of hair-like filaments covering their bodies, later named pycnofibres. The pycnofibres served as insulation, an indication the group was warm-blooded, and provided a streamlined flight profile. The pycnofibres are present in two main types: longer at the extreme part of the wing membrane and shorter near the body. In the 1990s, David Unwin argued that both types were essentially not hairs but reinforcing fibres of the flight membranes.[2] Later he emphasized that "hair" in the form of pycnofibres was indeed present on the body, after the find of new specimens clearly showing this.


The genus is based on holotype PIN 2585/3, a crushed relatively complete skeleton on a slab. It was found in the 1960s at the foothills of the Karatau in Kazakhstan.

Sharov had already referred a paratype or second specimen: PIN 2470/1, again a fairly complete skeleton on a slab. By 2003 another six specimens had been discovered.



Sordes has been assigned to the family Rhamphorhynchidae. These were among the earliest of the pterosaurs, evolving in the late Triassic and surviving to the late Jurassic. According to Unwin, within Rhamphorhynchidae Sordes belonged to the Scaphognathinae. Other researchers however, such as Alexander Kellner and Lü Junchang, have produced cladistic analyses showing that Sordes was much more basal, and not a rhamphorhynchid.

See also


  1. ^ Sharov, A. G. 1971 Novyiye lyetayushchiye reptili iz myezozoya Kazakhstana i Kirgizii [New flying reptiles from the Mesozoic of Kazakhstan and Kirghizia]. Trudy paleont. Inst. Moscow. Russian text with end plates.
  2. ^ Elgin, R.A., Hone, D.W.E., and Frey, E. 2011. The extent of the pterosaur flight membrane. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 56 (1): 99–111. [1]

External links

Aleksandr Grigorevich Sharov

Aleksandr Grigorevich Sharov (А.Г. Шаров, 1922—1973) is a Russian palaeoentomologist, paleontologist and expert on Pterosauria. He graduated from Moscow State University. In 1951 he defended Candidate of Science dissertation on the embryology of Apterygota. Since 1951 he worked at the Paleontological Institute in Moscow, where in 1966 he defended dissertation of Doctor of Science. His major contribution to the phylogeny of Arthropods was published in 1966.

He worked during the 1960s and 1970s on the Karatau rocks and discovered many of the fossils, of which some have been named after him, as in the case of the Karatausuchus sharovi (a crocodile), and Sharovipteryx (a reptile related to pterosaurs). He also discovered and described the specimen Sordes pilosus in 1971 and Longisquama insignis.


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.


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, or "bird theropods", is a clade that includes carnosaurians and coelurosaurs to the exclusion of other dinosaurs.


Caelestiventus ( sə-LES-tih-VEN-təs, meaning "heavenly wind") is a pterosaur genus from the Late Triassic (Norian or Rhaetian) found in western North America. The type species, Caelestiventus hanseni, honors Robin Hansen, the Bureau of Land Management geologist (BLM), who facilitated access to the excavation site.

Caelestiventus is important because it is the sole example of a desert-dwelling non-pterodactyloid pterosaur and is 65 million years older than other known desert-dwelling pterosaurs. Additionally, it shows that even the earliest pterosaurs were morphologically and ecologically diverse and that the Dimorphodontidae originated in the Triassic Period.


Cerapoda ("ceratopsians and ornithopods") is a clade of the dinosaur order Ornithischia.


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.


Fenghuangopterus is a genus of basal pterosaur that lived in northeastern China during the Middle Jurassic.

The type species Fenghuangopterus lii was in 2010 described and named by Lü Junchang et al. The generic name is derived from the Fenghuang Mountain and a Latinised Ancient Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name honours Li Xiumei, who donated the fossil. It is known from a single relatively complete, though badly crushed, fossil skeleton, holotype CYGB-0037, recovered from the Tiaojishan Formation of Liaoning Province, about 160 million years old. It is a member of the rhamphorhynchid subfamily Scaphognathinae, which had previously been known only from the Late Jurassic and includes the close relatives Scaphognathus, Sordes and Harpactognathus.


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 (meaning "Jingshan lizard") is a genus of sauropodomorph dinosaurs from the early Jurassic period.

Les Apaches

Les Apaches (or Société des Apaches) was a group of musicians, writers and artists which formed around 1900 in Paris, France. Members of the group included:

Édouard Bénédictus, painter, composer and scientist

Claude Debussy, composer and pianist

Michel-Dimitri Calvocoressi, writer and music critic

Maurice Delage, composer

Manuel de Falla, composer

Léon-Paul Fargue, poet

Lucien Garban, publisher and transcriber

Pierre Haour

Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht, conductor

Tristan Klingsor, poet, painter, art theorist

Maurice Ravel, composer

Gomez de Riquet (an imaginary member)

Florent Schmitt, composer

Paul Sordes, painter

Igor Stravinsky, composer

Georges Mouveau , decorator

Ricardo Viñes, pianist

Émile Vuillermoz, music criticThe name was taken up by the group after inadvertently bumping into a newspaper seller who exclaimed "Attention les apaches". They soon adapted the name, which literally refers to the Native American Apache tribe, but had the additional meaning in French of 'hooligans'. Ravel suggested that they adopt the first melody of Borodin's 2nd Symphony as their theme, an idea with which they all agreed. The group met each Saturday, most often at the home of Sordes; alternatively, they would meet at Klingsor's home.

The group had rallied around Claude Debussy's opera Pelléas et Mélisande at and after its controversial premiere. Ravel dedicated the movements of his piano work Miroirs to members of the Apaches.

According to Stravinsky’s letters, he frequently visited Paris, staying at the home of his closest friend in the city, Maurice Delage. Delage helped him deliver manuscripts and set up interviews with the press. In a letter to Florent Schmitt, Stravinsky noted that for a time he only listened to the music of Schmitt and Ravel, along with Debussy.


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.


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.


Novialoidea (meaning "new wings") is an extinct clade of macronychopteran pterosaurs that lived from the latest Early Jurassic to the latest Late Cretaceous (early Toarcian to late Maastrichtian age), their fossils having been found on all continents except Antarctica. It was named by Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner in 2003 as a node-based taxon consisting of the last common ancestor of Campylognathoides, Quetzalcoatlus and all its descendants. This name was derived from Latin novus "new", and ala, "wing", in reference to the wing synapomorphies that the members of the clade possess. Unwin (2003) named Lonchognatha in the same issue of the journal that published Novialoidea (Geological Society of London, Special Publications 217) and defined it as Eudimorphodon ranzii, Rhamphorhynchus muensteri, their most recent common ancestor and all its descendants (as a node-based taxon). Under Unwin's and Kellner's phylogenetic analyses (where Eudimorphodon and Campylognathoides form a family that basal to both Rhamphorhynchus and Quetzalcoatlus), and because Novialoidea was named first (in pages 105-137, while Lonchognatha was named in pages 139-190), Lonchognatha is an objective junior synonym of the former. However, other analyses find Lonchognatha to be valid (Andres et al., 2010) or synonymous with the Pterosauria (Andres, 2010 and Andres, in press).


Orionides is a clade of tetanuran theropod dinosaurs from the Middle Jurassic to the Present. The clade includes most theropod dinosaurs, including birds.

Paul Sordes

Paul Sordes (1877–1937) was a French painter and set designer who was an original member of Les Apaches, a group of artists in early 20th-century Paris whose most famous member was Maurice Ravel. It was at Sordes' studio home at 39 rue Dulong above Montmartre that the group regularly met on Saturdays. In fact, the first meeting of the group occurred at his studio in either June 1902 or May 1903.Around 1900, Tristan Klingsor first met Sordes at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris, where he was impressed by Sordes' drawings and watercolors.Klingsor called him une sorte de Ravel de la palette in an obituary, and Ravel dedicated Une barque sur l'océan from the piano suite Miroirs to him.

His brother Charles Sordes was also a member of Les Apaches.


Peteinosaurus ( peh-TY-nə-SOR-əs; meaning "winged lizard") was a prehistoric genus of Pterosaur. It lived in the late Triassic period in the late Norian age (about 221 to 210 million years ago), and at a wingspan of around 60 cm (24 in), was one of the smallest and earliest Pterosaurs.


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).


Sordariomycetes is a class of fungi in the subdivision Pezizomycotina (Ascomycota), consisting of 28 orders, 90 families, 1344 genera. Sordariomycetes is from the Latin sordes (filth) because some species grow in animal feces, though growth habits vary widely across the class.

Sordariomycetes generally produce their asci in perithecial fruiting bodies.

Sordariomycetes are also known as Pyrenomycetes, from the Greek πυρἠν - 'the stone of a fruit' - because of the usually somewhat tough texture of their tissue.Sordariomycetes possess great variability in morphology, growth form, and habitat. Most have perithecial (flask-shaped) fruiting bodies, but ascomata can be less frequently cleistothecial (like in the genera Anixiella, Apodus, Boothiella, Thielavia, Zopfiella),. Fruiting bodies may be solitary or gregarious, superficial, or immersed within stromata or tissues of the substrates and can be light to bright or black. Members of this group can grow in soil, dung, leaf litter, and decaying wood as decomposers, as well as being fungal parasites, and insect, human, and plant pathogens.


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