Monday, April 07, 2008

Dino Diagnosis of the Day #4

It's not actually a dinosaur. It's also brand-spanking new, so if you haven't heard of it, don't feel bad. It's an incredibly exciting critter which I'm drawing up a tentative reconstruction of and in a short time, I will tell you all about it! But here's the first glimpse...

"Bony, anterior cranial crest formed from the premaxilla; keel-like extension of the anterior part of the mandible; heterodont dentition with large monocuspid teeth in the anterior part and multicuspid (tricuspid, quadricuspid, quinticuspid) teeth in the posterior part of the dentition; diastema in the upper jaw between the premaxilla and maxilla; lingual side of the anterior teeth with heavy and conspicuous bowed enamel wrinkles; multicuspid teeth of the upper jaw more bulbous than the teeth of the lower jaw; multicuspid teeth of the upper jaw aligned in one row and show distinct gaps between the teeth; multicuspid teeth of the lower jaw packed close together causing the orientation of the teeth to slope and laterally overlap; very long, slender (length to diameter shaft ratio: 18.2) and straight humerus, with a subrectangular deltopectoral crest."

You'd think the creature in question is known from dental remains alone, but such is not the case. The diagnosis doesn't even address what I think is the most interesting feature of the animal. Give it a guess or two, kiddies! This is a strange bugger!

6 comments:

Christopher said...

Hehe, dont think it would be fair if I guessed.

Alkalynic said...

"You'd think the creature in question is known from dental remains alone, but such is not the case. "

Except the diagnosis mentions four or five characters not related to the teeth. :-P

Obviously this is the new pterosaur, Raeticodactylus.

Christopher Taylor said...

Ha! I get spoofed for the first time! Like fun I'd have the dignity to refrain from guessing.

In light of your previous post, I'm going to have a stab at Eudracon magnificissimus. [Sorry, I couldn't resist correcting the derivation. It should be Eudraco, etymology-wise, but Nomenclator Zoologicus indicates that Haeckel bagsied that name back in 1895.]

AarowSwift said...

I'm going with Raeticodactylus filisurensis.

Zach Miller said...

Dang, you guys are good! Alkalynic and Aarowswift get points. I love drawing this pterosaur's skull, but the body is virtually unknown. Limb elements are there, but according to the paper, its proportions are unlike Eudimorphodon or Australodactlyus. So I'm not sure what angle to take in terms of body structure...

Christopher said...

The bodily proportion themselves are unlikely to be very different from Eudimorphodon or Austriadactylus, so you only need wory about the limbs. They are quite long in Caviramus (=Raeticodactylus) compared to the other two taxa, but the forlimbs and hindlimbs are lengthend proportionally. Just think of a beefy Eudimorphodon on stiltz. The strongly perpendicular caput femoris makes me wonder more about the flight position than anything else, its very unfortunate a pelvis wasn't preserved as well