[N] 2013 Revision of Pterodactylus and a new pterosaur: Ardeadactylus longicollum
S. Christopher Bennett (2012) New information on body size and cranial display structures of Pterodactylus antiquus, with a revision of the genus Paläontologische Zeitschrift (advance online publication) doi: 10.1007/s12542-012-0159-8
Pterodactylus antiquus has long been thought to have been quite small (~50 cm wingspan) and to have differed from P. longicollum, Ctenochasma, Germanodactylus, and Gnathosaurus in lacking a bony cranial crest, though a soft tissue crest and occipital lappet have been described. This article describes a new specimen of P. antiquus
larger than all previously known specimens, which demonstrates that the species exceeded 1 m in wingspan and had a low bony cranial crest.
A smaller, incipient crest was identified on the holotype specimen. Additional specimens, including the counterpart of Wellnhofer’s original occipital lappet specimen, provide evidence of the occipital lappet and the soft tissue crest extending upward above the naso-antorbital fenestra and orbit. In order to provide a proper
taxonomic context for the findings, the recent synonymization of the species Pterodactylus antiquus and P. kochi on the basis of shared correlation of tooth number and skull length despite perceived differences in dentition and skull, neck, and trunk proportions is reviewed.
A measurement error that had made it appear that P. antiquus differed significantly from P. kochi in proportions is documented, and after correction of the measurement error and reevaluation of the dental evidence there are no significant differences between the two nominal species. Thus, the synonymization of P. antiquus and P. kochi was appropriate, and a revised diagnosis is presented.
In addition, the species P. longicollum and P. micronyx, which for some years have been viewed as not congeneric with P. antiquus, are placed in a new genus and transferred to Aurorazhdarcho, respectively.