Cretaceous pterosaurs


Pterosaurs were volant reptiles of the Mesozoic and the first vertebrates to evolve powered flight. While there is an impressive high diversity of well-preserved pterosaurs from the Jurassic strata of Germany, there is also a sparse record of body and trace fossils from the Cretaceous.


This project's aim is to revise the record of Cretaceous pterosaurs from Germany, also in context to other contemporary fossils from other parts of the world.


This is an independent project in collaboration with Sven Sachs, Dr. Jahn Hornung, Dr. Benjamin Kear, and Dr. Daniel Madzia.

Portrait of the pterodactyloid Lonchodectes wiedenrothi from the Early Cretaceous of Hanover (Lower Saxony). Artist: Joschua Knüppe.

Related publications:

  • Abel, P., Hornung, J.J., Kear, B.P. & Sachs, S. (2019). A possible anhangueran pterosaur mandible from the Lower Cretaceous of Germany. Program and abstracts. XVII Conference of the EAVP – Brussels, Belgium 2 – 6 July 2019: 7.
  • Abel, P., Hornung, J.J., Kear, B.P., Sachs, S. (2019). Reassesment of the enigmatic pterosaur "Ornithocheirus" wiedenrothi from the Lower Cretaceous of Northern Germany. Starck, M. & Huysseune, A. (eds) International Congress of Vertebrate Morphology (ICVM) Abstract Issue 2019. Journal of Morphology, Supplement 280: S73-S74.
  • Abel, P., Hornung, J.J., Kear, B.P., & Sachs, S. (2021). An anhanguerian pterodactyloid mandible from the lower Valanginian of Northern Germany, and the German record of Cretaceous pterosaurs. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica. doi: 10.4202/app.00818.2020.