Named By: J. Lü, D. M. Unwin, B. Zhao, C. Gao and C. Shen - 2012.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Rhamphorhynchidae, Rhamphorhynchinae.
Species: Q. guoi (type).
Size: Estimated 34 centimetre wingspan.
Known locations: China, Hebei province - Tiaojishan Formation.
Time period: Mid/Late Jurassic.
Fossil representation: Almost complete articulated specimen, possibly of a juvenile.
Qinglongopterus has been found to be very similar to
the pterosaur that is the type genus of the Rhamphorhynchidae
which Qinglongopterus is thought to be the most
closely related. This
however hints that both Qinglongopterus and Rhamphorhynchus
their evolutionary limit as they are separated by many millions of
years yet show very little development, although it may be that they
were so well adapted to their particular ecological niche that they did
not require further changes to their bodies.
Pterosaurs as a group are thought to have gone through a process of ‘modular evolution’, which is where rather than the whole body changing all at once, only certain parts change. For example, while the main body stays the same, the proportions of the wing bones may change, or instead the orientation of the neck vertebrae joining the skull may shift. Such evolution can be seen in some pterosaurs such as Darwinopterus which have been described as being cobbled together from a combination of primitive and advanced pterosaur parts.