- Peteinosaurus Tooth
- Triassic Age
- Bull Canyon Formation
- San Miguel County, New Mexico
- Specimen measures approx. 3/16″ long and will come in the 3.25″ x 4.25″ Riker Mount with Label as Shown
Peteinosaurus (meaning “winged lizard”) was a prehistoric genus of Pterosauria. It lived in the late Triassic period in the late Norian age, about 221 to 210 million years ago.
Peteinosaurus was one of the smallest pterosaurs. Peteinosaurus had a wingspan of around 60 cm (24 in), and its weight was less than that of a common blackbird.
Peteinosaurus is one of the oldest-known pterosaurs, and at a mere sixty centimetres, had a tiny wingspan when compared to some later genera, such as Pteranodon whose wingspan exceeded twenty feet. Its wings were also proportionally smaller than those of later pterosaurs, as its wing length was only twice the length of the hindlimb. All other known pterosaurs have wingspans at least three times the length of their hindlimbs. It also had single cusped teeth that lacked the specialized heterodonty present in the other Italian Triassic pterosaur genus, Eudimorphodon.
All these factors converge to hint that Peteinosaurus belongs to a group that possibly represents the most basal known pterosaurs: the Dimorphodontidae, to which it was assigned in 1988 by Robert L. Carroll. The only other known member of that group is the later genus Dimorphodon, which lent its name to the family including both genera. Later cladistic analyses however, have not shown a close connection between the two forms. Nevertheless, the possible basal position of Peteinosaurus has been affirmed by Fabio Marco Dalla Vecchia who suggested that Preondactylus, according to David Unwin the most basal pterosaur, might be a subjective junior synonym of Peteinosaurus. A 2010 cladistic analysis by Brian Andres and colleagues placed Peteinosaurus in Lonchognatha which includes Eudimorphodon and Austriadactylus as more basal.