|The fossils and a reconstruction of the skull of Pterofiltrus qiui|
Now palaeontologists excavating at the early Cretaceous, siciliclastic rocks believe that they have discovered yet another new species: a member of those leather-winged flying reptiles, the pterosaurs. The team, led by Dr Jiang Shunxing and Dr Wang Xiaoli, discovered a strange skull. Analysis revealed it to be a pterosaur and radiometric dating gave it an age of 125 million years old. The skull was unlike that of any other flying reptile and led the team to the conclusion that it was an undescribed species.
They gave it a name of Pterofiltrus qiui in honour of Professor Qiu Zhanxiang. Its length of 20.8 centimetres, 112 teeth and slightly concave cranium, lacking in ornaments, showed the team that Pterofiltrus was part of a small pterosaur group called the ctenochasmatids.'The Jehol Biota comprises many pterosaurs and ctenochasmatids play a very important role' said Xiaoli. 'The amount of clade members is not big but this clade has more taxa than many others. This new member provides further information on the global distribution of the ctenochasmatid, in Asia, Europe and America.'