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A new species of Tupuxuara (Thalassodromidae, Azhdarchoidea) from the Lower Cretaceous Santana Formation of Brazil, with a note on the nomenclature of Thalassodromidae

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A new species of the sail-crested pterosaur Tupuxuara is described from the Santana Formation of Brazil, Tupuxuara deliradamus sp. nov. The holotype, a partial skull, and a larger, partial skull referred to the same taxon differs from Tupuxuara leonardii by having a nasoantorbital fenestra with an acutely-angled posterior border with a long, straight posterodorsal margin, a reclined cranium, and an orbit situated entirely in the ventral half of the nasoantorbitral fenestra. Unfortunately, neither specimen is comparable with the fragmentary rostrum representing Tupuxuara longicristatus. In addition, resolution of a recent nomenclatural problem over the correct name for the clade containing Tupuxuara and its sister taxon, Thalassodromeus, is provided. Both genera are used by different authors as the nomenclatural basis for the group, but “Tupuxuaridae” has never been explicitly erected as a new taxon, and therefore fails to meet ICZN criteria that new taxa are only valid if authors clearly indicate their intention to establish new names. By contrast, “Thalassodrominae” was explicitly erected as a name for the Thalassodromeus + Tupuxuara clade, thereby fulfilling all ICZN requirements for naming of a new taxon and making Thalassodromeus stand as the type genus for this group.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1293-1300
Number of pages8
JournalCretaceous Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009

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