(Arabic for Phoenix).
Named By: Ibrahim et al - 2010.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Azhdarchidae.
Species: A. saharica (type).
Size: Unknown for certain, but comparison with similar pterosaur species has given estimates of a 4 meter wingspan to one individual, and a 6 meter wingspan attributed to a larger individual.
Known locations: Africa, Morocco - Kem Kem Beds.
Time period: Berriasian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Jaw fragments and possible neck vertebra.
Alanqa was a significant find as pterosaurs are not especially well known from Africa. This is not to say that Africa did not have many pterosaurs living there, just that the conditions were not conducive for mass preservation given the fragile nature of pterosaur bones (even when well preserved they often get crushed during the fossilisation process). Although initially thought to be pteranodontid, most people consider Alanqa to actually represent an early azdarchid pterosaur, similar to others of the group like Zheijiangopterus. As such Alanqa is thought to have hunted like a stork, as has been suggested for the azdarchid pterosaurs as a group.
- A New Pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco. - PLoS ONE. 5 (5). - Nizar Ibrahim, David M. Unwin, David M. Martill, Lahssen Baidder & Samir Zouhri - 2010.
- An unusual modification of the jaws in cf. Alanqa, a mid-Cretaceous azhdarchid pterosaur from the Kem Kem beds of Morocco. - Cretaceous Research. 53: 59. - David M. Martill & Nizar Ibrahim - 2015.