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New observations on the osteology and taxonomic status of Preondactylus buffarinii WILD, 1984 (Reptilia, Pterosauria).

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New observations about the osteology and the systematic position of Preondactylus buffarinii Wild 1984b, are based on a reexamination of the holotype (1770MFSN). The carpus and metacarpus of this specimen are described in detail after further preparation. New measurements for the wing metacarpal, first wing phalanx and tibia are presented, allowing new postcranial bone length ratios to be calculated. Similarities of P. buffarinii to Peteinosaurus zambellii are emphasized; its condition of most primitive pterosaur is open to discussion and its diagnosis is emended.
... The Endenna site yielded three articulated wing phalanges (MCSNB 4562) and an isolated sternum (MPUM 7039). MCSNB 4562 represents a very large individual for the standards of the non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs, which was referred to Preondactylus buffarinii by Wild (1984) because of the length ratio between wing phalanges 3 and 2. Dalla Vecchia (1998) argued that the ratio (0.96, estimated; but it is 1.03 -0.89 in Padian 1980) is not reliable for taxonomic purposes because it is as close to that of the holotype of Preondactylus buffarinii (1.00) as well as those of Austriadactylus cristatus Dalla Vecchia et al. 2002 (1.02) and Dorygnathus banthensis (Theodori 1830) (1.01). Dalla Vecchia (1998) considered the specimen an indeterminate basal pterosaur. ...
... MCSNB 4562 represents a very large individual for the standards of the non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs, which was referred to Preondactylus buffarinii by Wild (1984) because of the length ratio between wing phalanges 3 and 2. Dalla Vecchia (1998) argued that the ratio (0.96, estimated; but it is 1.03 -0.89 in Padian 1980) is not reliable for taxonomic purposes because it is as close to that of the holotype of Preondactylus buffarinii (1.00) as well as those of Austriadactylus cristatus Dalla Vecchia et al. 2002 (1.02) and Dorygnathus banthensis (Theodori 1830) (1.01). Dalla Vecchia (1998) considered the specimen an indeterminate basal pterosaur. Surprisingly, Barrett et al. (2008, p. 62) referred this specimen to 'Peteinosaurus sp. ...
... Preondactylus buffarinii is diagnosed by the short and dorsally convex premaxilla body that comprises the tip of the snout and the relative length of the dentary, which is less than half the length of the complete lower jaw (Dalla Vecchia 2003). Another possible apomorphy is that metacarpal I is markedly shorter than metacarpals II and III, which are of similar length (Dalla Vecchia 1998). Preondactylus buffarinii shares with Austriadactylus cristatus one to possibly three very enlarged, triangular and serrated maxillary teeth below the ascending process of the maxilla, followed posteriorly by triangular, serrated teeth decreasing regularly in size; unlike Austriadactylus cristatus, it has premaxillary and anterior mandibular teeth that are not significantly enlarged and are recurved backwards. ...
Article
Pterosaurs are a clade of highly specialized, volant archosauromorphs recorded from the Upper Triassic to the uppermost Cretaceous. Problematic remains referred to the Pterosauria are reported from the Triassic of Europe and both North and South America, but unequivocal pterosaur specimens are only known from the Alps (Italy, Austria and Switzerland: Preondactylus buffarinii, Austriadactylus cristatus, Peteinosaurus zambellii, Eudimorphodon ranzii, Carniadactylus rosenfeldi, Caviramus schesaplanensis and Raeticodactylus filisurensis) and Greenland (‘Eudimorphodon’ cromptonellus). Pterosaurs are diagnosed mostly by features associated with the advent of powered flight. They are generally considered to be archosaurians more closely related to dinosaurs than to crocodilians, but non-archosaurian positions have also been proposed. There is a lack of general agreement about ingroup relationships, particularly among the basal pterosaurs. Triassic pterosaurs differ from other non-pterodactyloid pterosaurs in features of the dentition and caudal vertebral column. A ‘Big Bang’ model for their early history fits better with the fossil record: the earliest unequivocal pterosaurs show a sudden and geographically limited appearance in the fossil record, as well as a relatively high burst of diversity and considerable morphologic disparity. Absence of pterosaur remains from deposits where they are expected to be found suggests that they had not yet evolved in pre-Norian times.
... The primary candidates were long thought to be Preondactylus (Unwin, 2003a(Unwin, , 2003b and Austriadactylus, which together form Preondactylia (see, Andres et al., 2014), and the Anurognathidae (Kellner, 2003). The former is known from several specimens, two of which contain very little information, with the best preserved of these being of poor preservation, with bones largely left as impressions in the matrix (Dalla Vecchia, 1998). Based on the disarticulation of the skull, the holotype is also likely to be a juvenile, adding issues of ontogeny. ...
... In the analyses of Britt et al. (2018), Austriadraco dallavecchiai and Arcticodactylus cromptonellus formed a small clade -Austriadraconidae -which formed the sister-taxon to all other pterosaurs; in the analysis of Dalla Vecchia (2019) the earliest diverging clade was found to be the clade containing Preondactylus bufarinii and Austriadactylus cristatus, with the 'austriadraconids' placed in more derived positions (Fig. 3). Dalla Vecchia (2019) also found a clade within the more 'derived' members of Pterosauria comprising several taxa, including Caviramus schesaplanensis, Carniadactylus rosenfeldi and Seazzadactylus venieri,termed Caviramidae by Baron (2020) (perhaps synonymous with the 'Caviraminae' of Dalla Vecchia, 1998), and which forms the sister-taxon to Zambellisauria (Fig. 3). For a full discussion of the ingroup topology within each hypothesis, see Baron (2020). ...
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... The pterosaur Preondactylus bufarinii is within the area of dinosauromorphs. This is interesting, because this taxon lacks the edentulous and tapering anterior end of the dentary (Dalla Vecchia, 1997), which is present in some early pterosaurs (Ezcurra et al., 2020). The PCo 1 segregates lagerpetids and dinosauromorphs. ...
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