[N] 2005 Unusual preservation of a new pterosaur from Solnhofen
Frey, E. and Meyer , C.A. (2005) Unusual preservation of a new pterosaur from Solnhofen 1st Meeting of the EAVP Natural History Museum Basel
Some years ago a private collector discovered remains of a pterosaur in a quarry close to Eichstätt. The collector excavated the specimen and realized that the skull was missing. Despite an extensive search, the head remained missing. The preparation revealed a completely articulated postcranial skeleton. The wing bone proportions, the extremely short proximal digits and the relative length of the hindlimbs suggest a hitherto unknown genus, that is close to the azhdarchid pterosaurs. This is supported by the ventral position of the Fossa glenoidea. The imprint of the skull with its dorsally bent rostrum can be seen in the sediment, even the outline of the throat-pouch is preserved. Within the imprint the sediment is sprinkled with 0.1 to 0.5 mm long scale-like particles, which came from the head of the pterosaur. These particles can only be seen under UV-light. Up to now it remains unclear whether those are scales of the head or microbial encrustations. Furthermore, it is enigmatic why the head of the pterosaur has been lost after deposition on the floor of the lagoon. A vertically embedded cervical vertebra indicates dorso-caudal movement before the head was severed from the body. However, the position of the postcranial skeleton remained undisturbed.