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Keywords:

  • Caviramus schesaplanensis;
  • Eudimorphodon;
  • Northern Calcareous Alps;
  • pterosaur;
  • Rhaetian;
  • Norian;
  • Late Triassic;
  • Switzerland

Abstract:  A lower jaw with multicusped teeth and a number of unique characteristics was discovered in an extensive exposure of the Upper Triassic Kössen Formation in the Northern Calcareous Alps. The ramus of the jaw is high and dominated by a row of large, oval foramina that lies parallel to the tooth row. In addition, the anterior portion of the dentary exhibits a large number of nutritive foramina and small pits, which might indicate an association with a soft tissue structure and/or the presence of a keratinous cover of that area during life. All elements of the jaw are thin-walled and hollow, possibly pneumatic. Two teeth are preserved within the dentary. One is tricuspid and the other bears four cuSPS. The teeth are noticeably small in comparison with the overall size of the ramus, being only one-third of the height of the ramus. The teeth show a strong similarity to those of the well-known basal pterosaur genus Eudimorphodon, whose jaw morphology, however, clearly differs from the specimen described in this study. The dentition and the pneumatic bone structure make an assignment to the Pterosauria plausible. Based on the great number of distinct morphological characters the specimen is described as Caviramus schesaplanensis gen. et sp. nov.