Named By: Jaime A. Headden & Hebert Bruno Nascimento Campos - 2014.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Dsungaripteridae.
Species: B. oberlii (type).
Size: Skull reconstructed at about 60 centimetres long. Wingspan roughly estimated to be about 4 meters across.
Known locations: Brazil - Santana Formation (Romualdo Member?).
Time period: Aptian/Albian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Partial jaw.
2005 a fragment of pterosaur
jaw bone was acquired by André Jacques
Veldmeijer, and then later described as a species of
T. oberlii in Veldmeijers’
However, the species was never actually official. Then in 2014
the fragment was described by Headden and Campos not as a species of
Thalassodromeus, but as an entirely new genus
which was named as
Banguela is Brazilian Portuguese for ‘toothless one’, and is a reference for the simple observation that the jaw fragment found for this pterosaur has no tooth sockets. When described by Veldmeijer in 2005, a similarity to dsungaripterid pterosaurs was noted, but a direct link was not established to the parcity of fossil material. In the 2014 description however, Headden and Campos were more confident in their establishment of Banguela as a dsungaripterid pterosaur.
Dsungaripterid pterosaurs (i.e. Dsungaripterus, Noripterus) seem to have been specialists focusing upon foraging for small animals such as molluscs and crustaceans, possibly buried in soft sediments. To this end, dsungaripterid pterosaurs would use their specialised beaks to dig out small animals. Also, until the 2014 naming of Banguela, all dsungaripterids were known to have had blunt teeth in their mouths that were presumably for breaking up the shells of molluscs and crustaceans so that the soft inner bodies could be swallowed. The fact that Banguela seems not to have had any teeth at all may indicate that Banguela was even more specialised than its immediate relatives, perhaps focusing upon soft bodied prey animals only.
Size estimates for Banguela are highly speculative given that the holotype (and at the time of writing only) fossil of this genus is a partial jaw bone. Still, scaling comparisons to other dsungaripterids suggest that Banguela would have been a mid-sized pterosaur with a wingspan of approximately four meters. However only further remains, ideally including the wing and body could give a more accurate figure.
- An unusual edentulous pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous Romualdo Formation of Brazil. - Historical Biology. - Jaime A. Headden & Hebert Bruno Nascimento Campos - 2014.