May 17, 2022

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Fossil of a giant flying reptile discovered on a Scottish island

Fossil of a giant flying reptile discovered on a Scottish island

Amazing 3D fossil of a previously unknown pterosaur has been discovered on the beach From the Isle of Skye, off the west coast of Scotland.

With a wingspan of more than 2.5 meters (8.2 feet), it was the largest pterosaur ever discovered since the Jurassic period and last flapping its wings 170 million years ago. His sharp teeth, which would have caught fish, still retained their shiny enamel.

In the Cretaceous period, right before the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, pterosaurs were like Quetzalcoatlus It reached the size of fighter planes, with a wingspan of 12 meters (40 feet).

However, this fossil discovery confirms that pterosaurs, sometimes known as pterodactyls, were indeed quite large earlier in their evolutionary history.

said Natalia Jagelska, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh. She was the lead author of a research paper on the fossil published Tuesday in the journal Current Biology.

The fossil was discovered during a field trip in 2017, After a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh, Amelia Penny, spotted her jaw protruding from a rock in the well-known Skye region. In Gaelic as Rubha nam Brathairean, or Brothers’ Point.

I have been given a pterosaur Gaelic name Dirk Sjiatanakh (pronounced jark ski-an-ash), which translates as “pterodactyl”.

“This is a super quality Scottish fossil. The preservation is amazing, far surpassing any pterosaur found in Scotland and probably the best British skeleton found in days Mary Anning in the early nineteenth centurysaid Steve Brusatte, Professor and Personal Director of Paleontology and Evolution in the School of Earth Sciences at the University of Edinburgh.
The pterosaur fossil is the largest known fossil from the Jurassic period, said Steve Brusatte, professor of palaeontology and evolution at the University of Edinburgh.

“Derek is the largest pterosaur that we know from the Jurassic period, and that tells us that pterosaurs were much larger than we thought, long before the Cretaceous when they were competing with birds, which is very important.”

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Anning, the unknown paleontology pioneer, discovered the 3-meter (9.8 feet) Plesiosaurus in Dorset, southern England, in 1823. The astonishing fossil, the first species found intact with its snake-like neck, stunned the world, unleashing dinos which dominated Victorian England and continues to this day.

Illustration depicting a pterosaur, which had a wingspan of over 2.5 meters (8.2 ft).
A number of amazing discoveries have been made in this region of the Sky in recent years, including footprints stegosaurus And the Other dinosaurs. Paleontologists believe it was once a subtropical lake and home to a thriving community of dinosaurs.
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Jagielska will continue to study the skeleton to understand how the ancient creature lived and flew.

“To achieve flight, pterosaurs had hollow bones with thin bony walls, which makes their remains incredibly fragile and unfit for[preservation]for millions of years,” she said.

“However, our skeleton, 160 million years after its death, is still in an almost primitive state, articulated and nearly complete…as if it had been alive only weeks ago.”