Named By: Philip J. Currie & Victoria M. Arbour - 2011.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Ornithocheiroidea, Istiodactylidae.
Species: G. beardi (type).
Size: Estimated 3 meter wingspan.
Known locations: Canada, British Columbia, Hornby Island, Collishaw Point.
Time period: Campanian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Specimen in a rock that had to be cut open.
was found inside a rock with some of the bones and teeth on the
surface. To get a better idea as to what was inside it, the rock was
cut in half. The skull of Gwawinapterus was found
to be similar to that
The teeth are closely packed and triangular but
laterally compressed with a visible curvature on the front, although
the whole tooth is straight. These teeth suggest that Gwawinapterus
a piscivorous lifestyle, as has been suggested for other pterosaurs of
its group. Also it seems that Gwawinapterus was
actually one of the
last 'toothed' pterosaurs from a time when other toothless pterosaurs
such as Pteranodon
seem to have been dominant.
Gwawinapterus got its name from the Kwak'wala word Gwa'wina which means 'raven', which in turn was inspired by the hamatsa masks of the Kwakwaka'wakw. The species name is in honour of Graham Beard, who brought the find to the attention of Currie.