Named By: Kellner & Campos - 2002.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Neoazhdarchia. Thalassodromidae.
Species: T. sethi (type).
Size: Typically 4.5 meter wingspan, larger individuals possibly up to 5.3 meter wingspan.
Known locations: Brazil - Santana Formation.
Time period: Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Two specimens.
most striking feature of Thalassodromeus is the
highly ornate head
crest, one of the largest known among pterosaurs.
From the side this
crest resembles the pharaoh crown that is often depicted in artwork of
ancient Egyptian gods. It is for this reason that the type species is
named T. sethi, after the god Seth, although it
seems that the
describers confused a picture of Seth with that of the god Amun.
Thalassodromeus was first thought to be similar to Tapejara, however current thinking has Thalassodromeus being similar to Tupuxuara and closer to the azdarchid line of pterosaurs. Widely accepted depictions of this group have them stalking on the ground like Storks do today rather than feeding on the wing. If correct then Thalassodromeus may have either stalked across the land looking for things like lizards, or remained on the water’s edge in the shallows hunting for fish and amphibians like Herons do today.
- The function of the cranial crest and jaws of a unique pterosaur from the early Cretaceous of Brazil. - Science, 297 (5580): 389-392. - A. W. A. Kellner & D. A. Campos - 2002.
- Toothed pterosaurs from the Santana Formation (Cretaceous; Aptian–Albian) of northeastern Brazil, Proefschrift Universiteit Utrecht. p. 1-269. - A. J. Veldmeijer - 2006.