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Dinosaurs In Literature, History and Art:
Distinctive Ornithocheirid Pterosaur on Mayan Funerary Vase from Dzibanche... Page 58

In this section, dinosaurs in literature art & history, we believe we've proven (at least to the open mind) that "dinosaurs" and man co-existed. We understand that readers will find some of our "proofs" more convincing than others. Pterosaurs are/were a very diverse group of creatures but we think that the unique look of this particular type will help us make the case for the identification.

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The ornithocheirids included the largest flying animals ever, and among other features had a distinctive snout crest that make them readily identifiable. This characteristic also makes it somewhat easier to separate characterizations of these creatures from that of birds such as pelicans.

In addition this Mayan characterization also includes a pronged hindskull. This type of ornithocheirid has been found in South America where the Mayans who created this ancient art lived. This funerary vessel was found in a tomb at Dzibanche.


Dzibanché, means "writing on wood" in Mayan. The name Dzibanché comes from Temple #6 which has a wooden lintel with glyphs from 618 AD. The site is fairly old dating back to 200 BC. It became a great city around 200 AD.

Dzibanché occupied an interesting location; it was not part of the Río Bec region but lay on important trade routed extending from there to the coast. This was a significant reason for Dzibanché's growth throughout the Early and into the Late Classic periods.

In the first half of the Late Classic, many of the largest buildings were constructed and here we see the development of its unique architectural style: rounded pyramidal bases tapering to double-sided temples on top. This feature alone places the city outside of the Río Bec group.

About two hundred years after the city's collapse, the ritual areas were begun to be occupied again by the local people who left offerings in the temples. In 1927, the first person to write about it was an English doctor, who named many of the buildings.

The site is wooded by the giant Ceiba trees, which are the sacred tree of the Maya.


"Ornithocheirids have been known since 1859, but the English fossils on which the group was based were all incomplete and unimpressive.

Beginning in the 1970s, many excellent ornithocheirid skeletons have more recently been discovered in the mid Cretaceous rocks of Brazil and these have provided a wealth of information on ornithocheirid anatomy, evolution and diversity.

Although the new Isle of Wight specimen is not as complete as the best Brazilian specimens, it has a unique tooth configuration and represents an entirely new kind of ornithocheirid. Like several of the Brazilian ornithocheirids, it has a keel-like crest running along the top of its snout.

Exactly why some ornithocheirids had these remains controversial, but possibly they helped these pterosaurs drag their beaks through the water when they grabbed prey from the water surface. It has also been suggested that the crests were display devices only present in adult males.

Bony crests

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The Isle of Wight specimen is even more remarkable, however, in possessing not only a keel-like snout crest but also a backward-projecting bony crest. This is similar to that of the famous North American Pteranodon (itself not an ornithocheirid but a distant relative).

No ornithocheirid was thought to have a crest like this until 2000, when a new Brazilian species showed that some of them did. The Isle of Wight ornithocheirid appears to be a close relative of this Brazilian form, so we now have two ornithocheirids with Pteranodon-like crests.

It's odd that, while ornithocheirids have been known since 1859, these two new kinds, both with the same kind of crest yet separated by thousands of kilometres, have each been discovered within the space of just two years".


"Anhanguera is a genus of pterodactyloid pterosaur known from the Lower-Cretaceous (Aptian) Santana Formation of Brazil. The discovery of this pterosaur helped to end some of the debates about whether pterosaurs walked on two legs or four.

This pterosaur is closely related to Ornithocheirus, and belongs in the family Ornithocheiridae within its own subfamily, Anhanguerinae, which also includes Ludodactylus.

Anhanguera was a fish-eating creature with a wingspan of 4-5 m (13-17 ft). It had a small, round crest on the front of its upper jaw. The creature is named after the Brazilian town of Anhanguera.

There are several recognized species of Anhanguera. A. santanae and A. blittersdorfi are known from several fragmentary remains including skulls from the Santana Formation of Brazil. A. cuvieri and A. fittoni, initially described as belonging to the genus Pterodactylus and then Ornithocheirus, are from a sligthly later period (Albian) from England, while fragments of a Anhanguera species have also been found in Queensland, Australia.

The well-known species A. piscator has been redescribed as belonging to the genus Coloborhynchus (Veldmeijer, 2003)…… Wikipedia

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