On Targaryendraco wiedenrothi gen. nov. (Pterodactyloidea, Pteranodontoidea, Lanceodontia) and recognition of a new cosmopolitan lineage of Cretaceous toothed pterodactyloids
Ornithocheirus wiedenrothi, from the Hauterivian (Early Cretaceous of Germany), is a taxon represented by three-dimensional remains of the lower jaw and wing elements. Its phylogenetic affinities have for long been elusive, though several works had already pointed out that it probably did not belong within the wastebasket genus Ornithocheirus. In the present contribution, we redescribe this species, assigning it to the new genus Targaryendraco and offering updated morphological comparisons. Subsequently, we present a phylogenetic analysis in which we recover a clade formed by Targaryendraco, Aussiedraco, Barbosania, Aetodactylus, Camposipterus and Cimoliopterus. This newly recognised clade is interesting in being quite cosmopolitan and spanning from the Hauterivian to the Cenomanian, like its sister-group, the Anhangueria. The recognition of this clade helps fill the temporal gap between the Anhangueria and Cimoliopterus, and also demonstrates that the diversity of Cretaceous toothed pterosaurs was higher than previously thought.