|Skeletal cast of the species Maaradactylus spielbergi|
Ornithocheirae is an extinct clade of pteranodontoid pterosaurs from the Early Cretaceous to the Late Cretaceous (Valanginian-Cenomanian stages) of Asia, Europe, North America and South America. It was named by Harry Seeley in 1870 as a family that contains Ornithocheirus and its relatives. The name was emended to Ornithocheiridae, to match the requirements of the ICZN Code that a family-ranked clade should end with an -idae suffix. Brian Andres (2010) in his review of pterosaur phylogeny, defined the name Ornithocheirae phylogenetically, as a node-based taxon consisting of the last common ancestor of Anhanguera and Ornithocheirus and all its descendants. Thus Ornithocheirae is defined to include two families, the Anhangueridae and the Ornithocheiridae, following the opinion of Alexander Kellner and Andres that these families should not be synonymized based on their original phylogenetical definitions.
The cladogram below is a topology recovered by Jacobs et al. (2019). Their analysis is similar to the one by Andres & Myers in 2013, though they placed more genera within the families Ornithocheiridae and Anhangueridae, including Camposipterus, Cimoliopterus, Maaradactylus and Siroccopteryx.
- Richard J. Butler; Stephen L. Brusatte; Brian B. Andres; Roger B. J. Benson (2012). "How do geological sampling biases affect studies of morphological evolution in deep time? A case study of the Pterosauria (Reptilia: Archosauria)". Evolution. 66 (1): 147–162. doi:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2011.01415.x. PMID 22220871.
- Andres, Brian Blake (2010). Systematics of the Pterosauria. Yale University. p. 366. A preview that shows the cladogram without clade names
- Kellner, A. W. A., (2003): Pterosaur phylogeny and comments on the evolutionary history of the group. pp. 105-137. — in Buffetaut, E. & Mazin, J.-M., (eds.): Evolution and Palaeobiology of Pterosaurs. Geological Society of London, Special Publications 217, London, 1-347
- Andres, B.; Myers, T. S. (2013). "Lone Star Pterosaurs". Earth and Environmental Science Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. 103 (3–4): 1. doi:10.1017/S1755691013000303.
- Jacobs, M.L., Martill, D.M., Ibrahim, N., Longrich, N. (2019). "A new species of Coloborhynchus (Pterosauria, Ornithocheiridae) from the mid-Cretaceous of North Africa" (PDF). Cretaceous Research. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2018.10.018.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
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