Puntanipterus

Name: Puntanipterus ‭(‬Puntanos wing‭)‬.
Phonetic: Pun-tan-ip-teh-rus.
Named By: José Bonaparte‭ & ‬Teresa Sánchez‭ ‬-‭ ‬1975.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea.‭ ‬Further classification is uncertain although most researchers have assigned Puntanipterus to Dsungaripteroidea.
Species: P.‭ ‬globosus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Type: Possibly a shellfish eater.
Size: Estimated‭ ‬2.5‭ ‬-‭ ‬3‭ ‬meter wingspan.
Known locations: Argentina‭ ‬-‭ ‬La Cruz Formation.
Time period: Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial remains of hind limbs,‭ ‬dorsal vertebra and foot and wing phalanx‭ (‬the hand‭)‬.

       The future for Puntanipterus is uncertain and the reason for this goes back to its early discovery.‭ ‬When described,‭ ‬Puntanipterus was noted as being similar to the filter feeding pterosaur Pterodaustro save for differences in the ankles and tibia.‭ ‬What must be remembered however is that pterosaur fossils,‭ ‬including those of Pterodaustro are almost always crushed in the fossilisation process because the bones are so lightly built.‭ ‬This causes distortions in the bone structures and can lead to two specimens of the same species looking like they belong to two different species,‭ ‬depending upon the amount of distortion between the specimens.‭
       Further remains thought to belong to Puntanipterus were found in a strata amongst fragmentary Pterodaustro remains during the‭ ‬1990s.‭ ‬Because the fragments were smaller,‭ ‬they were not as distorted as larger Pterodaustro bones,‭ ‬but most importantly they look identical to the bones of Puntanipterus.‭ ‬If they are confirmed to be identical then Puntanipterus will cease to be an independent genus and become a synonym of Pterodaustro.



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