Temporal range: Early-Late Cretaceous, 135–94 Ma
Pterodactylus compressirostris.jpg
Only known specimen of Lonchodectes
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Order: Pterosauria
Suborder: Pterodactyloidea
Clade: Ornithocheiromorpha
Family: Lonchodectidae
Hooley, 1914

Lonchodectidae is a group of pterosaurs within the clade Pterodactyloidea. It has variously been considered to be within Ctenochasmatoidea,[1] Azhdarchoidea[2] and Pteranodontia.[3][4] They are notable for their high, conical tooth sockets.[5]


Reconstruction of Lonchodectes, with hypothetical bauplan

Both Lonchodectes and the unnamed "Chang'e" specimen showcase that lonchodectids had limb proportions similar to those of azhdarchoids and were probably terrestrial stalkers.[6][7] They have rather specialised dentitions, however considered Lonchodectes to be a generalist feeder, akin to gulls, and Prejanopterus possesses a curved upper jaw that might imply a more specialised lifestyle.


  1. ^ Unwin, David M. (2003). "On the phylogeny and evolutionary history of pterosaurs". In Buffetaut, Eric; Mazin Jean-Michel (eds.). Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs. Geological Society Special Publication 217. London: Geological Society. pp. 139–190. ISBN 1-86239-143-2.
  2. ^ Unwin, D.M. (2008)
  3. ^ Witton, M.P., Martill, D.M., and Green, M. (2009). "On pterodactyloid diversity in the British Wealden (Lower Cretaceous) and a reappraisal of “Palaeornis” cliftii Mantell, 1844." Cretaceous Research, 30: 676–686.
  4. ^ Andres, B.; Myers, T. S. (2013). "Lone Star Pterosaurs". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh: 1. doi:10.1017/S1755691013000303.
  5. ^ Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy, Mark P. Witton (2013)
  6. ^ Unwin, D.M. (2008)
  7. ^ Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy, Mark P. Witton (2013)