Beipiaopterus

Name: Beipiaopterus ‭(‬Beipiao wing‭)‬.
Phonetic: Bey-pi-aop-teh-rus.
Named By: Lü Junchang‭ ‬-‭ ‬2003.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Ctenochasmatidae,‭ ‬Ctenochasmatinae.
Species: B.‭ ‬chenianus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Filter feeder.
Size: 1‭ ‬meter wingspan.
Known locations: China,‭ ‬Liaoning Province‭ ‬-‭ ‬Yixian Formation.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Crushed partial skeleton thought to be of a subadult,‭ ‬including wing membranes.‭ ‬Skull unknown.

       Ctenochasmatid pterosaurs are usually confirmed by their special dentition which allows them to filter sediment and water as they hunt for invertebrates.‭ ‬However this was not possible for Beipiaopterus because the skull was unknown.‭ ‬Instead the remainder of the body had to be examined for identifying features and the conclusion to this was that Beipiaopterus was a basal member of the Ctenochasmatidae.‭ ‬Although enough of the original pterosaur remains to give a fairly reliable indication of wingspan and total size,‭ ‬the fact that the specimen is of a subadult means that Beipiaopterus likely grew bigger with a wingspan exceeding one meter.
       Beipiaopterus was the subject of a special‭ ‬2005‭ ‬study where the wing membrane was subjected to scrutiny under the power of an electron microscope.‭ ‬This study confirmed the presence of a network of blood vessels that have been speculated to have been for the purpose of thermoregulation.‭ ‬This has been held up as further proof for the theory that pterosaurs were warm-blooded,‭ ‬a state that would better support the lifestyle of an active flyer.



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