1 Universidad del País Vasco/Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea, Facultad de Ciencia y Tecnología, Dpto. Estratigrafía y Paleontología, Apdo. 644, 48080 Bilbao, Spain.2 Departamento de Paleobiología, Museo Nacional de Ciencias Naturales-CSIC, 28006 Madrid, Spain.3 Museo del Jurásico de Asturias (MUJA) , 33328 Colunga, Spain, and Departamento de Geología, Universidad de Oviedo, c/ Jesús Arias de Velasco s/n, 33005 Oviedo, Spain.4 Departamento de Ingeniería del Terreno, Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, 46022 Valencia, Spain.5 Colectivo Arqueológico-Paleontológico de Salas (C.A.S.) , Museo de Dinosaurios, Plaza Jesús Aparicio 9, 09600 Salas de los Infantes, Burgos, Spain
Financial support was provided by the projects CGL2010-16447/BTE, CGL2010-18851/BTE, and CGL2009-12143/BTE of the Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación (currently Ministerio de Economía y Comptetitividad, MINECO) of Spain, by the research group IT-320-10 of the Gobierno Vasco/EJ (XPS), by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation through a sponsorship of renewed research stay in Germany (FK), and by the protocol CN-04-226 of the Principado de Asturias/Universidad de Oviedo (JIR-O).
Prejanopterus curvirostra, from the Early Cretaceous of La Rioja province, was the first pterosaur genus and species described from Spain. The material comprises disarticulated cranial and postcranial remains from several individuals. The fossil-bearing bed is assigned to the lacustrine Leza Formation (eastern Cameros Basin, NW margin of the Iberian Range). This unit is regarded as either Berriasian-Valanginian or Barremian-Aptian. Prejanopterus curvirostris (specific name emended) was originally diagnosed on the basis of several characters of which the most significant was a lateral curvature of the rostrum. Re-examination of the holotype (rostrum) and paratype (partial rostrum with teeth) indicates that there is no genuine sideways bend of the preserved premaxilla-maxilla segments, but a slight dorsal curvature. Prejanopterus is characterized by a unique combination of characters: an emended diagnosis is provided. In contrast with previous estimates, the wing span of Prejanopterus was probably not much (if ever) in excess of 2 m. A phylogenetic analysis suggests that Prejanopterus is a basal pterodactyloid positioned between Pterodactylus and Cycnorhamphus-Gallodactylus. Prejanopterus represents the first evidence of Pterodactylidae in the Early Cretaceous of the Iberian Peninsula.