Pterosaur - Evolution and Extinction - Classification

Classification

For more details on this topic, see List of pterosaur classifications.

Classification of pterosaurs has historically been difficult, because there were many gaps in the fossil record. Many new discoveries are now filling in these gaps and giving a better picture of the evolution of pterosaurs. Traditionally, they are organized into two suborders:

  • Rhamphorhynchoidea (Plieninger, 1901): A group of early, basal ("primitive") pterosaurs, many of which had long tails and short metacarpal bones in the wing. They appeared in the Late Triassic period, and lasted until the late Jurassic. Rhamphorhynchoidea is a paraphyletic group (since the pterodactyloids evolved directly from them and not from a common ancestor), so with the increasing use of cladistics it has fallen out of favor in most technical literature.
  • Pterodactyloidea (Plieninger, 1901): The more derived ("advanced") pterosaurs, with short tails and long wing metacarpals. They appeared in the middle Jurassic period, and lasted until the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event wiped them out at the end of the Cretaceous.

Listing of families and superfamilies within Pterosauria, after Unwin 2006 unless otherwise noted.

  • ORDER PTEROSAURIA (extinct)
    • Suborder Rhamphorhynchoidea *
      • Family Anurognathidae
      • Family Campylognathoididae
      • Family Dimorphodontidae
      • Family Rhamphorhynchidae
    • Suborder Pterodactyloidea
      • Superfamily Ornithocheiroidea
        • Family Istiodactylidae
        • Family Nyctosauridae
        • Family Ornithocheiridae
        • Family Pteranodontidae
      • Superfamily Ctenochasmatoidea
        • Family Ctenochasmatidae
        • Family Gallodactylidae
        • Family Pterodactylidae
      • Superfamily Dsungaripteroidea
        • Family Dsungaripteridae
        • Family Germanodactylidae
      • Superfamily Azhdarchoidea
        • Family Azhdarchidae
        • Family Chaoyangopteridae
        • Family Lonchodectidae
        • Family Tapejaridae

The precise relationships between pterosaurs is still unsettled. However, several newer studies are beginning to make things clearer. Cladogram simplified after Unwin.

Pterosauria

Preondactylus


Macronychoptera

Dimorphodontidae


Caelidracones

Anurognathidae


Lonchognatha

Campylognathoididae


Breviquartossa

Rhamphorhynchidae



Pterodactyloidea (see below)







Pterodactyloidea
Ornithocheiroidea

Istiodactylidae


Euornithocheira

Ornithocheiridae



Pteranodontidae




Lophocratia
Ctenochasmatoidea

Gallodactylidae


Euctenochasmatia

Pterodactylus



Lonchodectes



Ctenochasmatidae




Dsungaripteroidea

Germanodactylidae



Dsungaripteridae



Azhdarchoidea

Tapejaridae



Azhdarchidae





Read more about this topic:  Pterosaur, Evolution and Extinction

Other articles related to "classification":

Stellar Classification - Variable Star Classification
... There is a variable star classification scheme that encompasses existing stars that are classified in the spectra classification ...
Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical Classification System
... The Anatomical Therapeutic Chemical (ATC) Classification System is used for the classification of drugs ...
Naive Bayes Classifier - Introduction
... In 2004, analysis of the Bayesian classification problem has shown that there are some theoretical reasons for the apparently unreasonable efficacy of naive Bayes classifiers ... Still, a comprehensive comparison with other classification methods in 2006 showed that Bayes classification is outperformed by more current approaches, such as boosted trees or random ... (means and variances of the variables) necessary for classification ...