Arambourgiania

Name: Arambourgiania ‭(‬Named after Camille Arambourg‭)‬.
Phonetic: A-ram-bor-gian-ia.
Named By: Lev Nesov et al.‭ ‬-‭ ‬1987.
Synonyms: Titanopteryx‭ (‬preoccupied by an fly in‭ ‬1934‭)‬.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Azhdarchidae.
Species: A.‭ ‬philadelphiae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain due to incomplete fossil material,‭ ‬but estimates range from‭ ‬7‭ ‬to‭ ‬13‭ ‬meter wingspan.‭ ‬The lower estimates are more generally accepted today.
Known locations: Jordan.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Cervical vertebra.

       For much of the early part of its scientific life Arambourgiania was known as Titanopteryx,‭ ‬however in‭ ‬1987‭ ‬Lev Nesov was made aware that the genus name was already being used by a fly.‭ ‬Under ICZN rules,‭ ‬no two animals may share the same genus name.‭ ‬Nesov renamed the specimen Arambourgiania in honour of Camille Arambourg,‭ ‬who in‭ ‬1954‭ ‬was the first person to realise that the holotype specimen belonged to a pterosaur.‭ ‬However Arambourg was still wrong in that he thought the bone was a wing metacarpal.‭ ‬It would not be until‭ ‬1975‭ ‬that the bone would be correctly identified as a cervical vertebra by Douglas A.‭ ‬Lawson.
       When the holotype was rediscovered in the late‭ ‬1990‭'‬s a more thorough investigation was carried out by David Martill and Eberhard Frey,‭ ‬who had attempted to find the holotype in back in‭ ‬1995‭ ‬but to no avail.‭ ‬It was not until‭ ‬1996‭ ‬that they learned the holotype specimen had been sold in‭ ‬1969‭ ‬and was subsequently donated to the University of Jordan‭ ‬in‭ ‬1973. Almost immediately it was realised that the vertebra was not complete and was missing the end from the posterior (rear portion).‭ ‬Taking this into account,‭ ‬they came up with an estimated length of seventy-eight centimetres.‭ ‬They also interpreted the position as the fifth neck vertebra.‭ ‬In order to get an idea of its size,‭ ‬Arambourgiania was then compared to the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.‭
       The neck vertebra of Arambourgiania was seventy-eight centimetres long compared to sixty-six centimetres of the same vertebra for Quetzalcoatlus.‭ ‬This produced a scale ratio of‭ ‬1.18‭ ‬which was then used to enlarge Quetzalcoatlus to gauge an estimated wingspan.‭ ‬The result was an estimated wingspan approaching thirteen meters across for Arambourgiania.‭ ‬However further studies for the total size of Arambourgiania have since been carried out,‭ ‬most of them revealing smaller wingspans that reduce down to the seven metre mark. Unfortunately unless more fossil material can be discovered for Arambourgiania,‭ ‬the only way to gauge its size is to guess by comparing it to other pterosaurs which in itself can be a problematic method of reconstruction since this depends upon two seperate creatures being similar to one another.





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