Named By: Wang & Zhou - 2003.
Synonyms: Huaxiapterus jii.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Azhdarchoidea, Tapejaridae, Tapejarinae.
Species: S. dongi (type), S. jii.
Size: 1.2 meter wingspan.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Jiufotang Formation.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Remains of 3 individuals, composed of almost complete remains.
from being the first tapejarid pterosaur
discovered outside of Brazil,
Sinopterus also represents one of the earliest and
Sinopterus had a toothless bony beak and bony crest
that runs from the
premaxilla to the middle of the skull. The crest is then thought to
extend upwards. Sinopterus is thought to have
been an omnivore,
with fruit perhaps forming an important part of its diet.
Another species, Sinopterus gui, is now thought to represent a younger individual of S. dongi. Some also consider that the smallest currently known pterosaur Nemicolopterus which also comes from the same Jiufotang Formation, may also represent a juvenile Sinopterus. As always, more fossils and study will be required for both of these pterosaurs.
- A new pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea, Tapejaridae) from the Early Cretaceous Jiufotang Formation of western Liaoning, China and its implications for biostratigraphy. - Chinese Science Bulletin 48:16-23. - X. Wang & Z. Zhou - 2003.
- A new Lower Cretaceous sinopterid pterosaur from the Western Liaoning, China. Acta Palaeontologica Sinica 42(3):442-447. - J. Li, J. Lü & B. Zhang - 2003.
- New information on Tupandactylus imperator, with comments on the relationships of Tapejaridae (Pterosauria). - Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. - F. L. Pinheiro, D. C. Fortier, C. L. Schultz, J. A. F. G. De Andrade & R. A. M. Bantim - 2011.