Tapejaridae

Tapejaridae

Tapejaridae (meaning "the old beings") are a family of pterodactyloid pterosaurs from the early Cretaceous period. Members are currently known from Brazil and China, where the most primitive genera are found, indicating that the family has an Asian origin.

Classification

Taxonomy

Tapejaridae may be composed of two subfamilies: a Tapejarinae of "Huaxiapterus" corrolatus, Sinopterus, Tapejara, "Tapejara" navigans, and Tupandactylus, and a Thalassodrominae of Thalassodromeus and Tupuxuara. Some studies, such as one by Lü and colleagues in 2008, have found that the thalassodromines are more closely related to the azhdarchids proper than to the tapejarids, and have placed them in their own family (which has sometimes been referred to as Tupuxuaridae, though Thalassodrominae was named first).

Phylogeny

The exact relationships of tapejarids to one another and to other azhdarchoid pterosaurs has historically been unclear, with different studies producing significantly different cladograms (family trees). It is also unclear exactly which pterosaurs belong to the Tapejaridae; some researchers have found the thalassodromines to be a member of this family, while other studies have found them to be more closely related to the azhdarchids (in the clade Neoazhdarchia). Some studies have even allowed the possibility that the "tapejarids" as traditionally thought of are paraphyletic, that is, they may not form a natural group but instead represent sequential branches of the tree leading to the more advanced neoazhdarchians. Below are two alternate cladograms presented by Martill and Naish in 2006, the first showing a monophyletic (natural) tapejaridae, the second showing them as a paraphyletic grade.

}} }} }}

}} }} }}

References

Search another word or see Tapejaridaeon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature