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The Late Jurassic pterosaurs from northern Patagonia, Argentina

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 September 2013

Laura Codorniú
CONICET, Departamento de Geología, Universidad Nacional de San Luis, Chacabuco 917, 5700 San Luis, Argentina. Email:
Zulma Gasparini
CONICET, División Paleontología de Vertebrados, Museo de La Plata, 1900 La Plata, Argentina. Email:


Records of flying Jurassic reptiles are very scarce in the Southern Hemisphere. Upper Jurassic pterosaurs have been discovered in marine Tithonian sediments of the Vaca Muerta Formation, in the Neuquén Basin, Patagonia, Argentina. Only four specimens are known so far: the first from Arroyo Picún Leufú, and the other three from the lithographic limestones of Los Catutos. Here, we update knowledge of Late Jurassic pterosaurs from northwest Patagonia. We revise the diagnosis and description of a previously described pterodactyloid, which is named as a new genus and species, Wenupteryx uzi. This small-sized pterosaur shows affinities with Euctenochasmatia or Archaeopterodactyloidea, and represents the most complete Jurassic pterosaur so far known from the Southern Hemisphere. We also report a recent finding suggesting that the new specimen belongs to a new species of pterodactyloid pterosaur. These records show that at least three different taxa of pterosaurs coexisted in the Neuquén Basin: Herbstosaurus, Wenupteryx and a more derived pterodactyloid that represents the largest pterosaur known from the Upper Jurassic of Gondwana.

Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2013 

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