|Named By:||Wang Xiaolin, Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner, Jiang Shunxing, Cheng Xin, Meng Xi & Taissa Rodrigues in 2010|
|Time Period:||Middle-Late Jurassic, 154 Ma|
|Location:||China, Liaoning Province - Tiaojishan Formation|
|Size:||Wingspan uncertain, skull 10.69 centimetres long|
|Fossil(s):||Almost complete but disarticulated specimen, some soft tissue impressions|
|Classification:||| Chordata | Reptilia | Pterosauria | Wukongopteridae ||
Kunpengopterus is a genus of wukongopterid pterosaur from the middle-late Jurassic or early Cretaceous of northeastern China.
Kunpengopterus is known from holotype IVPP V16047, an almost complete skeleton with complete skull and lower jaws recovered from rocks of the Tiaojishan Formation or Daohugou Beds in Linglongta, Jianchang County, western Liaoning. The age of these layers is controversial. This compression fossil is of an adult individual. Aside from the bones some soft parts were also preserved and the remains of a possibly regurgitated fish.
Kunpengopterus was named and described by Wang Xiaolin, Alexander Wilhelm Armin Kellner, Jiang Shunxing, Cheng Xin, Meng Xi and Taissa Rodrigues in 2010. The type species is Kunpengopterus sinensis. The generic name combines the Kun, a large fish or whale from Chinese folklore that could transform itself into the Peng, a gigantic colourful bird providing a mythological explanation of the northern lights, with a Latinised Greek pteron, "wing". The specific name refers to the Chinese origin.
Kunpengopterus has an elongated head, 106.9 millimetres long. The cervical vertebrae too are relatively long. The naris is confluent with the antorbital fenestra, but these large openings are still partly separated by a broad and anteriorly directed processus nasalis which has itself a small vertical tear-shaped opening. A low bony crest is present on the skull, just behind the eyes; preserved soft tissue shows it was elongated by cartilage and a yellow discolouration indicates it was perhaps enlarged to the back by a skin flap. There is no sign of a crest on the snout or of a keel under the lower jaws. The back of the skull is rounded. Kunpengopterus has a long stiff tail. The fifth toe is also long and strongly curved.
Kunpengopterus was assigned to the Wukongopteridae, a group of pterosaurs showing a mix of basal and derived traits.