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Nyctosaurus crest


Updated 30 12 2019
Name: Nyctosaurus.  
Meaning of name: Night lizard.
Species: N. gracilis, N. nanus, N. lamegoi, N. bonner?  
Classification: Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Ornithocheiroidea, Nyctosauridae. ‬
Time period: Santonian to Masstrichtian stages of the late Cretaceous.  
Distribution: Kansas, USA & Brazil?  
Wingspan: Wingspan: 2m.  

It was proposed by one palaeontologist that it windsurfed over the water with, effectively, triple sails, its crest sail plus long wings. Other observations he made were the body was rather v shaped & the loss of its hands would facilitate the use of the wings as outriggers. However others have argued that it couldn’t fly with a crest sail of that size, plus in Mark Witton’s blog he states, some bony crests are completely smooth, and have no evidence for extensive soft-tissue elaboration. This is mainly seen in the ornithocheiroids (the group that includes taxa like Anhanguera, Pteranodon and Nyctosaurus).


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paleopeter's avatar
Thanks G! :) (Smile) :happybounce: 
CyberCorn-Entropic's avatar
Bizarre some of the things that developed.  I'd think there was possibly a membrane of some sort strung between the prongs and possibly the back, but that would be a pteror to fly with.
paleopeter's avatar

It’s tempting to think there was a colourful membrane; it might turn up in the fossil record. When I first saw this crest I couldn’t believe it or the size of Quetzalcoatlus that’s why I love palaeontology! 

doomroar76's avatar
To think that it was able to fly with such a thing on it head, it looks so counter intuitive.
paleopeter's avatar

Only males had crests this big (apparently size matters)  :) (Smile) 

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