Books  Palaeontology  Palaeozoology & Extinctions 

The Pterosauria

  • Provides detailed descriptions and illustrations of more than 130 known species and key fossil localities
  • Presents the most extensive treatment of pterosaur phylogeny to date, including extensive synopses of metric data, phylogenetic characters and distribution of fossils in time and space
  • Includes results from recent studies and exciting new finds from China such as Darwinopterus

By: David Martill(Editor), David Unwin(Editor), Robert Loveridge(Editor), Peter Wellnhofer(Foreword By)

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Apr 2018 | #199717 | ISBN-13: 9780521518956
Available for pre-order: Due Apr 2018 Details
NHBS Price: £79.99 $103/€88 approx

About this book

Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight. This core reference work summarises state-of-the-art research on pterosaur taxonomy, phylogeny and evolutionary history, as well as recent advances in our understanding of pterosaur diversity and the distribution of these creatures. Compiled by a team of more than 20 experts from 8 different countries, this work provides the most extensive account yet written of pterosaur systematics. Highlights include detailed reviews of the geology and palaeontology of principal pterosaur localities; comprehensive accounts of pterosaur biogeography and preservation; detailed systematic reviews of the more than 130 species of pterosaur described so far; and the first detailed account of pterosaur evolution to include important new finds such as Darwinopterus. Illustrated with unique line drawings and photographs, The Pterosauria is a one-stop resource for academics, students of palaeontology, geology and biology, and amateur enthusiasts interested in these flying reptiles.


List of contributors
Foreword Peter Wellnhofer

1. Introduction David M. Martill and David M. Unwin
2. Pterosaur research since 1991: an overview David M. Unwin and David M. Martill
3. The pterosaur fossil record Fabio Dalla-Vecchia, Mike Everhart, Dino Frey, Nizar Ibrahim, Lü Junchang, David Martill, Helmut Tischlinger and David M. Unwin
4. A review of pterosaur phylogeny Brian Andres
5. Pterosaur systematics Brian Andres, Eric Buffetaut, Laura Codorniu, Fabio Dalla-Vecchia, Dino Frey, David Hone, Lü Junchang, David Martill, Darren Naish, David Unwin and Mark Witton
6. Pterosaur trace fossils Martin Lockley and Jerry Harris
7. Pterosaur palaeobiogeography Paul Upchurch, Richard Butler, Brian Andres and Paul Barrett
8. Pterosaurs in time and space David Unwin

Appendix 1. Pterosaur synonymies Mike Hanson
Appendix 2. Data matrices for cladistic analysis of pterosaurs Brian Andres
Appendix 3. The fossil record of the Pterosauria David Unwin
Appendix 4. Nomina Anatomica Pterosauria David Unwin and David Martill
Appendix 5. Metric data Ross Elgin


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David Martill is a leading expert on Mesozoic vertebrate palaeontology and the preservation of exceptional fossils. He first became interested in pterosaurs when he met Dave Unwin in the 1980s and the two of them worked on the exceptional preservation of the pterosaur flight membrane. After completing his Ph.D. on the preservation and palaeoecology of Jurassic marine reptiles at the University of Leicester David undertook postdoctoral research as a Harkness Fellow at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. After a spell at the Open University he moved to the University of Portsmouth where his research has concentrated on Cretaceous dinosaurs and pterosaurs and the fauna of the famous Crato Formation of Brazil. His field work has included expeditions to discover dinosaurs and pterosaurs in Brazil, Chile, Malawi, Morocco and Germany.

David Unwin is a leading authority on pterosaurs. He became fascinated by them as an undergraduate and went on to complete a Ph.D. on the relationships and evolution of pterosaurs at the University of Reading. Following postdoctoral research in Moscow and in the University of Bristol, David became Curator of Fossil Reptiles and Birds in the Museum for Natural History, Berlin in 1997. In 2005 he moved back to England to take up a position in the Department of Museum Studies, University of Leicester. During the last 25 years David has researched and published on many aspects of pterosaurs, most notably the structure of the wing membranes, pterosaur's walking ability, development of giant pterosaurs and the history of the group. Most recently his work has focused on China where he has helped to describe several new pterosaurs including Darwinopterus - a remarkable transitional form that hints at a modular form of evolution.

Robert Loveridge is a research fellow in the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Portsmouth and a biologist with interests in the origin and evolution of palaeofloras, especially of the Crato Formation of Brazil, and Mesozoic palaeontology in general. He has considerable field experience in the Cretaceous of North Africa, Brazil and Europe. Bob discovered his first pterosaur while leading a student field trip to the Solnhofen Limestone of Germany in 2009. He has been involved in several other book and TV projects, including The Crato Fossil Beds of Brazil with David Martill and Gunter Bechly (Cambridge University Press, 2007) and is a skilled photographer.

- Peter Wellnhofer
- David M. Martill
- David M. Unwin
- Fabio Dalla-Vecchia
- Mike Everhart
- Dino Frey
- Nizar Ibrahim
- Lü Junchang
- Helmut Tischlinger
- Brian Andres
- Eric Buffetaut
- Laura Codorniu
- David Hone
- Darren Naish
- Mark Witton
- Martin Lockley
- Jerry Harris
- Paul Upchurch
- Richard Butler
- Paul Barrett
- Mike Hanson
- Ross Elgin

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