Named By: Michael W. Maisch - 2008.
Synonyms: Stenopterygius hauffianus.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Ichthyosauria, Parvipelvia.
Species: H. typicus (type).
Size: Up to around 2 meters long.
Known locations: England and Germany.
Time period: Toarcian of the Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Several specimens of adults and juveniles, at least one of which is so well preserved it includes some soft tissue.
evaluation of a species of Stenopterygius,
S. hauffianus, yielded
two things. One, many of the remains of this species could actually
be attributed to the Stenopterygius type species, S.
quadriscissus. Two, remains that differed from these
were of a new and previously un-described genus of ichthyosaur, hence
the re-description and creation of Hauffiopteryx.
Like with other
ichthyosaurs, Hauffiopteryx was an open water
predator of fish and
other small marine organisms, though its smaller size compared to
other genera may have meant that it could operate more easily in
shallow waters and nearer the shoreline.
Hauffiopteryx was named in honour of the Hauff family of Holzmaden for their work with the Posidonia Shale, combined with the Ancient Greek ‘pteryx’ which can mean either ‘wing’ or ‘fin’. The species name H. typicus just means ‘typical’.