Pterosaurs Illustration

Pterosaurs fly over a shallow seaway dotted with reefs and lagoons. Analysis by a world staff of paleontologists is shedding new mild on how, and the place, these historic flying reptiles lived. Credit score: Illustration by Julius Csotonyi

Research describes new group of pterosaurs, identifies crustacean-heavy weight loss program.

New analysis means that historic flying reptiles often known as pterosaurs have been rather more numerous than initially thought, based on a brand new examine by a world group of paleontologists together with scientists on the College of Alberta and the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The analysis describes an historic and very well-preserved pterosaur specimen initially found in a non-public limestone quarry in Lebanon greater than 15 years in the past. 

“The diversity of these ancient animals was much greater than we could ever have guessed at, and is likely orders of magnitude more diverse than we will ever be able to discover from the fossil record,” stated Michael Caldwell, co-author and professor within the Division of Organic Sciences and the Division of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. 

Outcomes additionally counsel that this specific sort of pterosaur doubtless ate up crustaceans, flying on lengthy, slim wings and catching its prey on the floor as do trendy seabirds such because the albatross and frigatebird.

“The diversity of these ancient animals was much greater than we could ever have guessed at, and is likely orders of magnitude more diverse than we will ever be able to discover from the fossil record.” — Michael Caldwell

“Pterosaur specimens, the first vertebrates to achieve powered flight, are still quite rare in the African continent,” stated Alexander Kellner of the Museu Nacional and professor on the Federal College of Rio de Janeiro. “Here we describe the best preserved material of these group of flying reptiles known from this continent so far, shedding new and much needed light on the evolutionary history of these volant creatures.”

The brand new pterosaur lived 95 million years in the past within the early half of the Late Cretaceous, within the center of what’s now referred to as the Tethys Seaway—an enormous expanse of shallow marine waters stuffed with reefs and lagoons, separating Europe from Africa and stretching all the way in which to Southeast Asia. The examine finds that these pterosaurs dwelling within the Tethys Seaway are associated to these from China. 

“This means that this Lebanese pterodactyloid was part of a radiation of flying reptiles living in and around and across the ancient Tethys Seaway, from China to a great reef system in what is today Lebanon,” defined Caldwell. 

The specimen is now housed within the Mineralogy Museum at Saint Joseph’s College in Beirut—the oldest college in Lebanon—and a solid of the specimen resides at UAlberta. The analysis was carried out with Kellner and Roy Nohra of Saint Joseph’s College in Beirut, Lebanon. This analysis was carried out in collaboration with the ICP Catalan Institute of Palaeontology Miquel Crusafont in Barcelona, Spain and Expo Haqel in Haqel, Lebanon.

Reference: “First complete pterosaur from the Afro-Arabian continent: insight into pterodactyloid diversity” by Alexander W. A. Kellner, Michael W. Caldwell, Borja Holgado, Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, Roy Nohra, Juliana M. Sayão and Philip J. Currie, 29 November 2019, Scientific Stories.
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-019-54042-z



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