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The Zhenyuanopterus is an extinct genus of a new boreopterid Pterosaur found in the Yixian formation of Liaoning, China. Only one species is known of this Pterosaur from the lower Cretaceous period called Z. longirostris. The species was first described by Lü Junchang.
The species Z. longirostris of the order Pterosauria was named by Junchang in the year 2005. The genus was actually named after Sun Zhenyuan who gave the fossil found to Junchang and Zi Fan. The species name represents the long snout of the Pterosaur. A single specimen is known; it is almost a full skeleton found in the Huangbanjigou locality of the Yixian formation of China. It is now preserved and kept on display at the Guilin Longshan Geological Museum in Guangxi, China. Another specimen of the rear side of the skeleton was found in the same area and is now preserved at the Dalian Xinghai Paleontological Museum. The second specimen of the Pterosaur was described by Teng Fangfang and his colleagues in 2014.
The Boreopterus and the Zhenyuanopterus are both parts of the family in the order Pterosauria. We know that the Boreopterus is a genus of the boreopterid Pterosaur found in the Barremian-Aptian age lower Cretaceous period of the same formation as the Zhenyuanopterus Pterosaur. These Pterosaurs are known for their triangular-shaped teeth. Teeth were smooth with a slight curve. We can see 86 teeth in the upper jaw and 86 teeth in the lower jaw. They had needle-like teeth. The third phalanx of the wing digit, femur, and the humerus all had the same length and feet were smaller. The forelimb was known to be more robust than the hindlimb. Eyes were known to be small and positioned near the end of the skull. The skull was longer than the one in the Boreopterus. For short-tailed Pterosaurs, the Zhenyuanopterus had a relatively long tail. The reptile had more than one crest; it had two, actually: a rectangular crest along the top of the snout and a small crest at the back of the skull/head.
We have so many dinosaur species we still don't know about. These magnificent beasts that once roamed the Earth disappeared before we even got to know more about them. For some relatable content, check out these awesome Sordes facts and Darwinopterus fun facts for kids.
Zhenyuanopterus were Pterosaurs; you may call them flying reptiles. They were not considered dinosaurs even when they were available within similar time and ages. Features also do not match those of dinosaurs as these were smaller creatures with wings. However, they were known to be a genus of large Pterosaurs with almost a 12 ft (3.6 m) wingspan. Less information is based on reptiles, so not much content is available.
The species was known to be a phylogenetic predecessor to the Arthurdactylus.
The pronunciation of the name Zhenyuanopterus is 'Zen-yoo-an-op-teh-rus'.
We know that Pterosaurs were reptiles with flight of the extinct clade or order Pterosauria. The Zhenyuanopterus is a new boreopterid and a genus of Pterosaurs with a large body and top-flight characteristics.
The preserved Zhenyuanopterus skeletal structure confirms that the species in the genus may have lived in the lower Cretaceous period of the Yixian Formation site of China. They were known from the early Aptian stage.
Research on this new boreopterid species suggests that they were alive around 125 million to 113 million years ago. This is a piece of speculative information and cannot be ascertained. However, it is known they lived in the early Aptian time.
These reptiles are an Asian species and the fossil was found in China. A complete skeleton was seen in the Huangbanjigou locality of the Yixian formation in Liaoning, China, and this specimen is now extremely cared for in the Guilin Longshan Geological Museum in Guangxi, China for research. The second specimen is partial and consists of the rear half of the body. It is kept at the Dalian Xinghai Paleontological Museum and was found on the same site as the first one.
They probably lived near marine habitats as they could easily pick up fish and other small amphibians with their long snout. Our best guess is that these reptiles may have lived in forests with many swamps and lakes.
This information along with any content on the company these reptiles used to keep is not available. They may have lived in pairs or in a small group judging by the Zhenyuanopterus size. They may have lived at the top of smaller trees, but no content is available to know more about this.
This information is not available due to lack of content; however, these reptiles may have lived for around 50-60 years.
Not much information is provided regarding the reproduction of this species. They probably laid eggs like other reptiles, but no new information is available.
We have information that Lü Junchang first described this species based on a specimen found in northeastern China. The name Xhenyuanopterus is actually named after Sun Zhenyuan who provided the specimen to Lü. The name of the species is in reference to the long narrow snout of the species. The skull of the species is said to have been 1.75 ft (53.34 cm) long. Features included a bony crest on the top of the snout that was seen halfway along the length. Eyes were smaller and positioned near the back of the skull. Long, needle-shaped teeth pointing vertically were in both upper and lower jaws. We can see 86 teeth in the upper jaw and 86 teeth in the lower jaw. The longest teeth were mainly near the back of the jaw. We see from the skeleton hat the species had a long stout, a neck of medium length, a short torso, and a relatively long tail.
The Boreopterus skull is smaller than the skull of the Zhenyuanopterus.
Although a full skeleton of the species has been retrieved from the site, the total number of bones is not known. Unless research tells us otherwise, we won't know the number of bones or characteristics of the skeleton found.
They probably communicated with voice and movement. Sometimes it might have been visual.
If we apply research and work of scientists, we find that the length of these large Pterosaurs of the early Cretaceous time was about 21.5 in (54.6 cm).
The Zhenyuanopterus wingspan is estimated to be 11-13 ft (3.35-4 m).
We don't know the speed of the species. They were probably pretty quick with their large wing-span.
The weight of the species is not known.
This information is not available.
This information is not available.
They were probably carnivores or mainly piscivores with the main prey being fish and aquatic amphibians. They could have preyed upon other amphibians on land too. The long snout and long teeth must have helped them pick food easily from water.
They were mildly aggressive.
A phylogenetic predecessor to the Arthurdactylus, the species was derived from a sister to the Haopterus and the Boreopterus.
They were named after the man who found the specimen, Sun Zhenyuan.
Two specimens were found from the same location. The first is almost a full skeleton and the second is a partial one containing the back half of the body.
Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly prehistoric animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other creatures from our Nemicolopterus fun facts, or Tropeognathus facts for kids.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable Zhenyuanopterus coloring pages.
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