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Creature of the Week #23: Wukongopterus

  • 05-10-2010 11:17pm
    Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    Wukongopterus lii was a small type of pterosaur which lived in China's famous Liaoning province during the late Jurassic - early Cretaceous period(s). It is known from one skeleton which was almost entirely complete, missing only pieces of the skull.
    Named in 2009, Wukongopterus means "monkey king wing", while lii is used in honor of Yutong Li, the senior preparotor of the museum which funded the expedition which foun Wukongopterus' remains.


    Wukongopterus' wingspan was less than a foot in lenght, making it about the size of a modern rook. It had a long tail and a long neck (possibly with a crested head based on related species). It also appears to have had a thin skin membrane between it's hind legs which would have been used for gliding. It is believed to have been a fish eater, but as with many pterosaurs, this is uncertain.


    The original Wukongopterus specimen has a broken shin. Interestingly, the wound appears to have been sustained while the animal was still alive. Whether or not the wound contributed to it's demise has yet to be determined either way. It is belived to be related to the more famous Rhamphorhynchus which lived during the Jurassic period.



  • Closed Accounts Posts: 7,941 caseyann

    Wow that is something else :cool:

    It looks kind of like a dolphin head in the skull.


  • Registered Users Posts: 30,747 ✭✭✭✭ Galvasean

    Now that you mention it, it does quite a bit! That must be where the fish eating idea comes from.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 20,761 ✭✭✭✭ dlofnep

    I like him :)