Caulkicephalus

Name: Caulkicephalus ‭(‬Caulk head‭)‬.
Phonetic: Cawl-kih-sef-ah-luss.
Named By: Lorna Steel,‭ ‬David Martill,‭ ‬David Unwin‭ & ‬John Winch‭ ‬-‭ ‬2005.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Ornithocheiridae.
Species: C.‭ ‬trimicrodon‭ (‬type‭).
Diet: Piscivore.
Size: Estimated‭ ‬5‭ ‬meter wingspan.
Known locations: United Kingdom,‭ ‬Isle of Wight‭ ‬-‭ ‬Wessex Formation.
Time period: Barremian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial skull from fragmentary remains,‭ ‬and partial post cranial remains.

       Caulkicephalus had to be reconstructed from several fragments before it could be classified.‭ ‬Once pieced together the form of an ornithocheirid pterosaur was easy to see including the specialised fish catching dentition.‭ ‬Although only the replacement teeth that are still within the jaw have been preserved,‭ ‬the size of the actual teeth can be inferred by examining the size of the tooth sockets.‭
       The largest teeth were the third pair from the tip of the snout.‭ ‬The second and first pairs grew steadily smaller,‭ ‬but the pairs immediately behind the third pair dropped off on size dramatically until the pairs eight,‭ ‬nine and ten which were comparable to the first pair.‭ ‬The teeth towards the front of the mouth also projected outwards rather than straight down.‭ ‬This is a simple method of increasing the catch area of the teeth as Caulkicephalus tried to snatch fish from the water.‭
       Caulkicephalus is thought to have had a crest on its snout near the tip such as other members of its group including Ornithocheirus.‭ ‬Also examination of the Caulkicephalus cranium indicates the presence of a second crest that rose up from the back of the skull,‭ ‬perhaps in a similar manner to Pteranodon.
       For anyone unfamiliar with the name,‭ ‬a‭ '‬caulk head‭' ‬is a term of reference used for anyone coming from the Isle of Wright.

Further reading
- A new pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Wessex Formation (Lower Cretaceous) of the Isle of Wight, England. Cretaceous - Research, 26, 686-698. - L. Steel, D. M. Martill, D. M. Unwin & J. D. Winch - 2005.



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