The shape of pterosaur evolution: evidence from the fossil record

  title={The shape of pterosaur evolution: evidence from the fossil record},
  author={Gareth J. Dyke and Alistair J. Mcgowan and Robert L. Nudds and D. Smith},
  journal={Journal of Evolutionary Biology},
Abstract Although pterosaurs are a well‐known lineage of Mesozoic flying reptiles, their fossil record and evolutionary dynamics have never been adequately quantified. On the basis of a comprehensive data set of fossil occurrences correlated with taxon‐specific limb measurements, we show that the geological ages of pterosaur specimens closely approximate hypothesized patterns of phylogenetic divergence. Although the fossil record has expanded greatly in recent years, collectorship still… 
Preservational bias controls the fossil record of pterosaurs
This study assesses the quality of the pterosaur fossil record via a character completeness metric based on the number of phylogenetic characters that can be scored for all known skeletons of 172 valid species, with averaged completeness values calculated for each geological stage.
The fossil record of ichthyosaurs, completeness metrics and sampling biases
Ichthyosaurs were highly successful marine reptiles with an abundant and well‐studied fossil record. However, their occurrences through geological time and space are sporadic, and it is important to
An analysis of pterosaurian biogeography: implications for the evolutionary history and fossil record quality of the first flying vertebrates
A novel model is proposed to explain pterosaurian distributions: pterosaurs underwent a series of ‘sweep-stakes’ dispersal events (across oceanic barriers in most cases), resulting in the founding of sympatric clusters of taxa.
Ten more years of discovery: revisiting the quality of the sauropodomorph dinosaur fossil record
Spatiotemporal changes in fossil specimen completeness can bias our understanding of a group's evolutionary history. The quality of the sauropodomorph fossil record was assessed a decade ago, but the
The Early Evolutionary History and Adaptive Radiation of the Pterosauria
Pterosaurs are characterized by an adaptive radiation no matter which phylogeny is considered, but congruence with the fossil record increases the support and information content of a phylogeny by reducing the time and area within which to reconstruct evolutionary history.
Skeletal completeness of the non‐avian theropod dinosaur fossil record
Non‐avian theropods were a highly successful clade of bipedal, predominantly carnivorous, dinosaurs. Their diversity and macroevolutionary patterns have been the subject of many studies. Changes in
A small azhdarchoid pterosaur from the latest Cretaceous, the age of flying giants
The first pterosaur from the Campanian Northumberland Formation (Nanaimo Group) of Hornby Island, British Columbia, is represented here by a humerus, dorsal vertebrae, and other fragments, an identification consistent with dominance of this group in the latest Cretaceous.
Spatiotemporal sampling patterns in the 230 million year fossil record of terrestrial crocodylomorphs and their impact on diversity
The 24 extant crocodylian species are the remnants of a once much more diverse and widespread clade. Crocodylomorpha has an approximately 230 million year evolutionary history, punctuated by a series
A New Crested Pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous of Spain: The First European Tapejarid (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchoidea)
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Two new pterosaurs that are referred to European groups previously unknown in deposits of northeastern China are reported, showing a wide range of groups including both primitive and derived forms that are not matched by any other deposit in the world.
The Fossil Record of Cretaceous Tetrapods
quality of the fossil record and diversity during the Cretaceous appear to be closely related, suggesting an artifactual component, and the SCM calculations show that knowledge of the Fossil Record has improved in the last ten years.
Fossils, molecules, divergence times, and the origin of lissamphibians.
A review of the paleontological literature shows that the early dates of appearance of Lissamphibia recently inferred from molecular data do not favor an origin of extant amphibians from
On the phylogeny and evolutionary history of pterosaurs
  • D. Unwin
  • Biology
    Geological Society, London, Special Publications
  • 2003
The pattern of pterosaur evolution suggested by the results of this analysis is broadly similar to traditional ideas, but has greater resolution, more complexity and reveals several previously unrecognized ‘events’.
Finding the tree of life: matching phylogenetic trees to the fossil record through the 20th century
  • M. Benton
  • Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
Comparisons of phylogenies of four major groups do not show uniform improvement, or decline, of fit to stratigraphy through the twentieth century, nor do morphological or molecular trees differ uniformly in their performance.
Biostratigraphy of new pterosaurs from China
Pterosaurs are represented in China by five genera and some isolated bones ranging in age from the Middle Jurassic to the Late Cretaceous period. Four of these genera belong to the derived
Solnhofen : a study in Mesozoic palaeontology
This book illustrates many of the marine and terrestrial creatures and plants, buried 150 million years ago in soft lagoonal muds, to provide a unique glimpse into the true diversity of Jurassic life.
An exceptionally preserved Lower Cretaceous ecosystem
Findings include feathered theropod dinosaurs and early birds, which provide additional, indisputable support for the dinosaurian ancestry of birds, and much new evidence on the evolution of feathers and flight.
Small Clades at the Periphery of Passerine Morphological Space
This study uses principal component (PC) scores based on eight log‐transformed measurements of the wing, tail, leg, and beak to test the hypothesis that small clades (≤5 species) occupy peripheral positions in morphological space.
Fossil ghost ranges are most common in some of the oldest and some of the youngest strata
  • M. Wills
  • Geology, Geography
    Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
  • 2007
It is demonstrated that ghost ranges are indeed relatively common in some of the oldest strata of the Phanerozoic, and that this pattern results from the interplay between several complex factors and is not a simple function of the completeness of the fossil record.