Lucio M. Ibicuru, Rubén D. Martínez y Gabriel A. Casal

The fossil record of pterosaurs is relatively abundant in South America. Remains of this group have been primarily found in Early Cretaceous rocks exposed in two different areas, i.e., in Northeastern Brazil (Kellner and Tomida, 2000) and in San Luis Province, Central Argentina (Bonaparte, 1970). Excepting the records in Neuquén Province, the fossil record of pterosaurs in Patagonia (i.e., Golfo San Jorge and Austral basins) is poor and incomplete (Codorniú and Gasparini, 2007). Continental deposits of the Bajo Barreal Formation (Cenomanian–Turonian) exposed in Central Patagonia, Argentina (Golfo San Jorge Basin), preserve an important record of South American Late Cretaceous vertebrates, particularly dinosaurs (Martínez et al., 2004; Martínez and Novas, 2006; Casal et al., 2007; Ibiricu et al., 2010). This record has been significantly increased over the past decade. The best known assemblages from Bajo Barreal come from the localities known as Estancia Ocho Hermanos and Estancia Laguna Palacios. Herein we report recently identified pterosaur material from rocks of the Bajo Barreal Formation exposed at Estancia Ocho Hermanos and discuss the implications of this material for the Patagonian fossil record of Pterosauria. The fossil is significant because it adds to the generally sparse global record of Cretaceous (especially Late Cretaceous) pterosaurs and constitutes the second most southern occurrence of Pterosauria worldwide. This material confirms the presence of pterosaurs in the Bajo Barreal Formation, increasing the number of taxa in the known fossil fauna from this unit and thus our knowledge of the early Late Cretaceous vertebrate assemblages of Central Patagonia.
Ibicuru,L. M., Martínez, R. D. y Casal, G. A. 2012. The first record of Pterosauria in the Bajo Barreal Formation (Upper Cretaceous), central Patagonia, Argentina. Ameghiniana 49(4): 657-661