Named By: Reginald Walter Hooley - 1914.
Synonyms: Pterodactylus compressirostris, Ornithocheirus compressirostris.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Azhdarchoidea, Lonchodectidae.
Species: L. compressirostris (type). Multiple other species names exist although most are treated as dubious inclusions.
Size: 2 meter wingspan.
Known locations: United Kingdom.
Time period: Valanginian to Turonian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Many sets of fragmentary remains.
problem with Lonchodectes is that the genus
continues to be treated
somewhat like a wastebasket with the most fragmentary remains being
attributed to it, which explains the broad temporal range of
Lonchodectes in the fossil record. The reason for
this is mostly down
to is taxonomic history with the first sets of remains being filed
in 1851 by Richard Owen. Then in 1870, Harry Govier
Seeley transferred the remains to Ornithocheirus,
notorious for being known from poorly preserved fossil remains.
Reginald Walter Hooley separated the remains that would become
Lonchodectes in 1914, however in doing so he
actually used the material
that was referred to the type species of Ornitocheirus.
The result of all this is that even though fossil material continues to be attributed to the genus, Lonchodectes is not recognised as valid by all researchers, and even those that do often assign it as dubious. This also means that the classification of Lonchodectes amongst other pterosaurs is often a subject of debate.
- On the ornithosaurian genus Ornithocheirus, with a review of the specimens of the Cambridge Greensand in the Sedgwick Museum. - Annals and Magazine of Natural History 8:529-557. - R. W. Hooley - 1914.
- A new pterosaur specimen from the Upper Tunbridge Wells Sand Formation (Cretaceous, Valanginian) of southern England and a review of Lonchodectes sagittirostris (Owen 1874), Stanislas Rigal, David M. Martill & Steven C. Sweetman. - In, New Perspectives on Pterosaur Palaeobiology. The Geological Society of London, D. W. E. Hone, M. P. Witton & D. M. Martill (eds.) - 2017.
- Taxonomy of the Lonchodectidae (Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea). - Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS. 324 (1): 41–55. - A. O. Averianov - 2020.