A new species of Coloborhynchus (Pterosauria, Ornithocheiridae) from the mid-Cretaceous of North Africa

Megan L. Jacobs, David M. Martill, Nizar Ibrahim, Nick Longrich

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    Pterosaur faunas experienced dramatic turnover between the Early and Late Cretaceous, but fossils documenting this transition are rare. The mid-Cretaceous Kem Kem beds of Morocco are one of a handful of localities preserving pterosaurs from this important interval. Previously reported taxa from the Kem Kem beds include the ornithocheirid Siroccopteryx moroccensis, the azhdarchoids Alanqa saharica and Xericeps curvirostris, an unnamed tapejarid, and a putative pteranodontid. Here, a new species of ornithocheirid, Coloborhynchus fluviferox sp. nov., is described on the basis of a well-preserved anterior rostrum fragment. It is assigned to Coloborhynchus based on the presence of an anteriorly directed first tooth pair protruding from a palatal surface, which is deflected dorsally by 90°. The new specimen differs from Siroccopteryx moroccensis and is distinguished from other species of Coloborhynchus by numerous characters, including an anterior palatal surface that defines a high isosceles triangle with two shallow, subcircular depressions located dorsal to premaxillary tooth pair one. The central region of alveoli for the first tooth pair is level with the dorsal borders of the second tooth pair and the mediodorsal crest rises steeply forming a blunt termination of the rostrum. The new species brings the number of pterosaur species from the Kem Kem beds to at least 5. The Kem Kem pterosaur assemblage resembles other Early Cretaceous faunas in having a high diversity of toothed forms, but also resembles latest Cretaceous faunas in having several edentulous azhdarchoids.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-88
    Number of pages12
    JournalCretaceous Research
    Early online date24 Oct 2018
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2019


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