Arambourgiania

Name: Arambourgiania ‭(‬Named after Camille Arambourg‭)‬.
Phonetic: A-ram-bor-gian-ia.
Named By: Lev Nesov et al.‭ ‬-‭ ‬1987.
Synonyms: Titanopteryx‭ (‬preoccupied by an fly in‭ ‬1934‭)‬.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Azhdarchidae.
Species: A.‭ ‬philadelphiae‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Diet: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Uncertain due to incomplete fossil material,‭ ‬but estimates range from‭ ‬7‭ ‬to‭ ‬13‭ ‬meter wingspan.‭ ‬The lower estimates are more generally accepted today.
Known locations: Jordan - Phosphorite Unit Formation.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Cervical vertebra.




       For much of the early part of its scientific life the pterosaur Arambourgiania was known as Titanopteryx,‭ ‬however in‭ ‬1987‭ ‬Lev Nesov was made aware that the genus name was already being used by a fly.‭ ‬Under ICZN rules,‭ ‬no two animals may share the same genus name.‭ ‬Nesov renamed the specimen Arambourgiania in honour of Camille Arambourg,‭ ‬who in‭ ‬1954‭ ‬was the first person to realise that the holotype specimen belonged to a pterosaur.‭ ‬However Arambourg was still wrong in that he thought the bone was a wing metacarpal.‭ ‬It would not be until‭ ‬1975‭ ‬that the bone would be correctly identified as a cervical vertebra by Douglas A.‭ ‬Lawson.
       When the holotype was rediscovered in the late‭ ‬1990‭'‬s a more thorough investigation was carried out by David Martill and Eberhard Frey,‭ ‬who had attempted to find the holotype in back in‭ ‬1995‭ ‬but to no avail.‭ ‬It was not until‭ ‬1996‭ ‬that they learned the holotype specimen had been sold in‭ ‬1969‭ ‬and was subsequently donated to the University of Jordan‭ ‬in‭ ‬1973. Almost immediately it was realised that the vertebra was not complete and was missing the end from the posterior (rear portion).‭ ‬Taking this into account,‭ ‬they came up with an estimated length of seventy-eight centimetres.‭ ‬They also interpreted the position as the fifth neck vertebra.‭ ‬In order to get an idea of its size,‭ ‬Arambourgiania was then compared to the giant pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus.‭
       The neck vertebra of Arambourgiania was seventy-eight centimetres long compared to sixty-six centimetres of the same vertebra for Quetzalcoatlus.‭ ‬This produced a scale ratio of‭ ‬1.18‭ ‬which was then used to enlarge Quetzalcoatlus to gauge an estimated wingspan.‭ ‬The result was an estimated wingspan approaching thirteen meters across for Arambourgiania.‭ ‬However further studies for the total size of Arambourgiania have since been carried out,‭ ‬most of them revealing smaller wingspans that reduce down to the seven metre mark. Unfortunately unless more fossil material can be discovered for Arambourgiania,‭ ‬the only way to gauge its size is to guess by comparing it to other pterosaurs which in itself can be a problematic method of reconstruction since this depends upon two seperate creatures being similar to one another.

Further reading
- Titanopteryx philadelphiae nov. gen., nov. sp. Ptérosaurien géant [Titanopteryx philadelphiae nov. gen., nov. sp. Giant pterosaurian]. - Contributions à la Stratigraphie et à la Paléontologie du Crétacé et du Nummulitique de la Marge NW de la Péninsule Arabique. Notes et Mémoires du Moyen Orient 7:229-234. - C. Arambourg - 1959.
- A reappraisal of Arambourgiania (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea): One of the world's largest flying animals. - N.Jb.Geol.Paläont.Abh., 199(2): 221-247. - E. Frey & D. M. Martill - 1996.
- Arambourgiania philadelphiae: giant wings in small halls. - The Geological Curator, 6(8): 305-313. - L. Steel, D.M. Martill., J. Kirk, A. Anders, R.F. Loveridge, E. Frey & J.G. Martin - 1997.
- Discovery of the holotype of the giant pterosaur Titanopteryx philadelphiae Arambourg 1959, and the status of Arambourgiania and Quetzalcoatlus. - Neues Jahrbuch fur Geologie und Paläontologie, Abh. 207(1): 57-76. - D. M. Martill, E. Frey, R. M. Sadaqah & H. N. Khoury - 1998.
- A cervical vertebra of Arambourgiania philadelphiae (Pterosauria, Azhdarchidae) from the Late Campanian micaceous facies of the Coon Creek Formation in McNairy County, Tennessee, USA. - Bulletin Alabama Museum Natural History 33:94–103. - T. Lynn Harrell Jr, Michael A. Gibson & Wann langston Jr. - 2016.
- Topotype specimens probably attributable to the giant azhdarchid pterosaur Arambourgiania philadelphiae (Arambourg 1959). - Geological Society, London, Special Publications. 455 (1): 159–169. - David M. Martill & Markus Moser - 2018.





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