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Temporal range: Maastrichtian, 66 Ma
Left humerus of the holotype specimen in ventral (A) and distal (B) view
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Family: Azhdarchidae
Subfamily: Quetzalcoatlinae
Genus: Hatzegopteryx
Buffetaut et al., 2002
Type species
Hatzegopteryx thambema
Buffetaut et al., 2002

Hatzegopteryx ("Hațeg basin wing") is a genus of azhdarchid pterosaur. It was found in Transylvania, Romania. It is known only from the type species, Hatzegopteryx thambema, named in 2002 based on parts of the skull and humerus.[1] Additional fossils, including a neck vertebra, were included later. The largest of these remains shows that the Hatzegopteryx was one of the biggest pterosaurs, with an estimated wingspan of 10 to 12 metres (33 to 39 ft).

It is unusual because it had a very wide skull with large muscular attachments. The bones had a soft internal texture instead of being hollow. it had a short, robust, and heavily muscled neck 1.5 metres (5 ft) long. This short neck was about half the length of other azhdarchids. The neck could withstand strong bending forces. Hatzegopteryx lived on Hațeg Island, an island in the Cretaceous subtropics within the prehistoric Tethys Sea. It was probably the apex predator of Hațeg Island, tackling larger prey (including dwarf titanosaurs and iguanodontians) than other azhdarchids.

References[change | change source]

  1. Buffetaut, E.; Grigorescu, D.; Csiki, Z. (2002). "A new giant pterosaur with a robust skull from the latest Cretaceous of Romania" (PDF). Naturwissenschaften. 89 (4): 180–184. Bibcode:2002NW.....89..180B. doi:10.1007/s00114-002-0307-1. PMID 12061403. S2CID 15423666.