Nemicolopterus or a Juvenile Sinopterus?

As it is March 1st, team members at Everything Dinosaur, thought it appropriate that on St David’s Day, the patron saint of Wales, it might be a good idea to post up a picture of one of the welsh dinosaurs such as Pantydraco (P. caducus) or the recently described Dracoraptor (D. hanigani), but in the end we decided to post up a picture of a very tiny pterosaur instead.

As we prepare for the arrival of the new for 2019 PNSO models, we have been busy researching and writing fact sheets to accompany sales of these figures.  One of these new PNSO models is a replica of Nemicolopterus, which if it is a valid genus, represents the smallest member of the Pterosauria described to date.

Everything Dinosaur’s Scale Drawing of the Tiny Chinese Pterosaur Nemicolopterus crypticus

Nemicolopterus crypticus scale drawing.

A scale drawing of the tiny pterosaur named Nemicolopterus.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

Tiny Chinese Pterosaur

With a wingspan not much bigger than a garden robin (Erithacus rubecula), Nemicolopterus probably weighed less than 100 grams.  Assigned to the Tapejaridae family, this little flying reptile, known from a single fossil specimen, has attracted quite a lot of controversy since it was named and described in 2008.

To read Everything Dinosaur’s 2008 article about the discovery of Nemicolopterus: New Species of Tiny Pterosaur from China.

The unfused bones and body proportions are very typical of a juvenile pterosaur.  It has been suggested that the fossil specimen might not represent a tiny species, but the juvenile stage of a much larger pterosaur.  For example, a number of academics have compared the Nemicolopterus fossil to juvenile specimens of the tapejarid Sinopterus, which is also known from China.

The New for 2019 PNSO Age of Dinosaurs Nemicolopterus Model

PNSO Nemicolopterus model.

The PNSO Nemicolopterus pterosaur model.

Picture Credit: Everything Dinosaur

The PNSO Nemicolopterus (or whatever genus the figure should represent), is coming into stock at Everything Dinosaur in the next few weeks.

It has been suggested that Nemicolopterus may not be a valid genus.  It has been proposed that the fossil material should be re-assigned to the genus Sinopterus.  Whatever the outcome, on March 1st, in honour of a Welsh national symbol and with a nod towards the orient and the legends of dragons from the Far East, we thought it appropriate to post up some images of a tiny flying reptile.

Happy St David’s Day.

 

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