Comodactylus

Name: Comodactylus (Como bluff finger).
Phonetic: Co-moe-dak-ty-lus.
Named By: Peter Galton - 1981.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Rhamphorhynchoidea.
Species: C. ostromi (type).
Type: Unknown.
Size: Unknown for certain because of incomplete fossil material, but it has been estimated to have a wingspan of 2.5 meters, based upon remains of other pterosaurs.
Known locations: USA, Wyoming - Morrison Formation.
Time period: Kimmeridgian to Tithonian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Single fourth metacarpal.

       Not much can be said about Comodactylus because it is only known from a fourth metacarpal, the hyper extended finger that made up the outer trailing edge of the wing. The prooportions of the bones have at least indicated that Comodactylus belongs within the Rhamphorhynchoidea, although if the size estimates are correct, then Comodactylus would have been very big for its group.
       The holotype specimen for Comodactylus had been sitting in museum storage for over a century until it was re-discovered and its original arrival harks back to the bone wars of the late nineteenth century. During this time fossil material was dug at such a fast rate that it was not possible for the two main antagonists (Othniel Charles Marsh and Edward Drinker Cope) to examine all of it. Comodactylus is derived from the Como Bluff area where the specimen was recovered from. The species name C. ostromi is in honour of the palaeontologist John Ostrom.



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