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Rare pterosaur remains tentatively referred to Dorygnathus banthensis (Theodori, 1830) from the Lower Jurassic (Posidonia Shale) of Schandelah (Lower Saxony, Germany)

The Posidonia Shale (Lower Toarcian, Upper Lias) is famous for its fossilized vertebrates. Since the beginning of the excavations of the State Museum of Natural History in Brunswick in 2014, a number of isolated bones of pterosaurs have been unearthed and tentatively referred to Dorygnathus banthensis (Theodori 1830). The findings of pterosaurs are a curiosity in northern Germany, as they are usually known from famous sites in southern Germany. Using 3D scans, sketches and high-resolution photographs, the bones are analyzed individually and compared to findings described in the literature. Based on the dentition and proportions of the lower jaw, the proportions of the humerus, the lengths of the flight finger phalanges and on the lower leg with adhered tibia and fibula, most of the bones seem to belong to small, probably juvenile, individuals of Dorygnathus banthensis. The characters of the humerus and the phalanges of the flight digit suggest that flight in Dorygnathus banthensis was possible. Furthermore, the remains of teeth yield information about the cycle of tooth replacement.

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