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Temporal range: Upper JurassicUpper Cretaceous
Ctenochasma elegans 1.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Class: Sauropsida
(unranked): Archosauria
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
The skeleton of a pterosaur on display in the Arizona Museum of Natural History in Mesa Arizona

Pterodactyloidea is the suborder of short-tailed pterosaurs. Their fossil record starts in the late Jurassic. They became extinct in the K/T extinction event at the end of the Cretaceous period. Pterodactylus, Pteranodon and Quetzalcoatlus are in this suborder.

Recent work shows that the group had more variety at the end of the Cretaceous than was thought earlier. In the early 2010s, several new pterosaur taxa were discovered dating to the late Cretaceous.[1][2] These finds include some small sized pterosaur species.[3][4]

At the end of the Cretaceous period, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which wiped out all non-avian dinosaurs and most avian dinosaurs as well, and many other animals, seems also to have taken the pterosaurs.

Classification[change | change source]

This is the classification of the different divisions of pterodactyloidea:

References[change | change source]

  1. Andres B. & Myers T.S. 2013. Lone Star pterosaurs. Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 103 (3–4): 1.[1]
  2. Agnolin, Federico L. & Varricchio, David 2012. "Systematic reinterpretation of Piksi barbarulna Varricchio, 2002 from the Two Medicine Formation (Upper Cretaceous) of Western USA (Montana) as a pterosaur rather than a bird". Geodiversitas 34 (4): 883–894. doi:10.5252/g2012n4a10. 
  3. Prondvai E; Bodor E.R. & Ösi A. 2014. "Does morphology reflect osteohistology-based ontogeny? A case study of late Cretaceous pterosaur jaw symphyses from Hungary reveals hidden taxonomic diversity". Paleobiology 40 (2): 288–321. doi:10.1666/13030. 
  4. Elizabeth Martin-Silverstone; Mark P. Witton; Victoria M. Arbour; Philip J. Currie 2016. A small azhdarchoid pterosaur from the latest Cretaceous, the age of flying giants. Royal Society Open Science. 3 (8): 160333. doi:10.1098/rsos.160333.