Field of Science

Kyrgyzsaurus, a new Drepanosaur from the Triassic Madygen Formation of Kyrgyzstan

Alifanov, V. R., and E. N. Kurochkin. 2011. Kyrgyzsaurus bukhanchenkoi gen. et sp. nov., a new reptile from the Triassic of southwestern Kyrgyzstan. Paleontological Journal 45(6): 639-647 DOI: 10.1134/S0031030111060025

Abstract - A new reptile, Kyrgyzsaurus bukhanchenkoi gen. et sp. nov., from the Triassic (Madygen Formation) of southwestern Kyrgyzstan is described based on the anterior part of the skeleton (skull, cervical and anterior dorsal vertebrae, ribs, pectoral girdle) and skin imprints. This is the most archaic representative of the family Drepanosauridae (Archosauromorpha, Diapsida). The most prominent features of the new form are the shortened lower jaw, numerous teeth, granular body osteoderms, large supraorbital shelflike skin folds, and thick and extensive throat sac.


  1. I don't suppose the authors added Kyrgyzsaurus to any cladistic analyses to see what effect this apparently most basal simiosaur has on their controversial phylogenetic position?

  2. They have a figure using the cladogram of Renesto and Binelli (2006) showing the new taxa as sister taxon to all other drepanosaurs. However, there is no stated methodology or matrix suggesting that they just placed this taxon in this position in the figure based on their interpretation of the 'primitive' nature of its characteristics.

    Bill Parker

  3. We have just illustrated some results that do not totally fit the paper.: Spindler, F., Buchwitz, M., Fischer, J. & Voigt, S. (2011): Preservation of tetrapod skin in the Triassic Madygen Formation. – Beiträge zu Paläontologie (82. Jahrestagung Pal. Ges.), 76-77. [Poster abstract]
    Now we prepare a publication on that fossil. The German team seems to be forgotten. But we don't think Kyrgyzsaurus to be drepanosaurid. Wait a little while ...

  4. I look forward to your publication.

  5. Actually illustrating a cladogram is more than I expected from Paleontological Journal. It'd be funny if this were a second Longisquama, since it's from the same formation, is known from the same area of the skeleton, and Longisquama may be related to simiosaurs. As with Parker, I look forward to Spindler et al.'s new paper.

  6. Thank you, Bill, for sending this paper. Tracings reveal the supposed high dorsal vertebral spines are actually a dorsal strap-like scapula and a displaced stem-like coracoid, one of two with the stemmed quadrant morphology found in Cosesaurus through pterosaurs. Kyrgyzsaurus joins the other two fenestrasaurs from this formation, Sharovipteryx and Longisquama adding to the variety that descended from the basal fenestrasaur, Cosesaurus. Too bad Alifanov and Kurochkin did not attempt a reconstruction. I think their many mistakes would have been revealed while putting the parts back together again. Reconstructions and new bone identities will be posted in today's pterosaurheresies blog.


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