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).
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
differences in the ankles and tibia. What must be remembered however
is that pterosaur fossils, including those of Pterodaustro
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.