They revealed that the fossils of a winged reptile known as pterosaurus has a wingspan of more than 2.5 meters.
Animals believed to have lived during that period Jurassic This species is thought to have last lived 170 million years ago.
The research team said this was evidenced by the pterosaur teeth which were found in good condition with glossy enamel.
The newly discovered pterosaur fossil is given the Gaelic name Dearc sgiathanach (pronounced jark ski-an-ach), which translates to winged reptile.
Reported from CNNTuesday (22/2/2022) the fossil was first discovered during research in 2017. At that time, doctoral students at Edinburgh UniversityAmelia Penny, saw the jaws of a reptile appear on the rocks of the Isle of Skye beach.
“This (finding) is a superlative Scottish fossil. “The preservation is extraordinary, surpassing any pterosaurs ever found in Scotland and perhaps the best skeleton found since Mary Anning’s time in the early 1800s,” said Professor and Principal Paleontology and Evolution inside University of Edinburgh School of GeoSciencesSteve Brusette.
He adds that the Dearc fossil is the largest pterosaur found so far, and his team suspects the reptile may have been larger than previously thought.
In the Cretaceous period, before the devastating asteroid strike dinosaur 66 million years ago, pterosaurs like Quetzalcoatlus were thought to have had a wingspan of up to 12 meters.
Fossil discovery of pterosaur winged reptile, published on February 22, 2022 in the journal Current Biology.
Of note, pterosaurs were the first vertebrates known to have evolved with powered flight, a feat some 50 million years ago, before birds did.
In order to fly, pterosaurs needed light and fine bones, so fossil remains of the skeleton are rarely found in good condition, because they are fragile.
“In order to be able to fly, pterosaurs had hollow bones with thin walls, making their remains very fragile and unfit to be (preserved) for millions of years,” explains University of Edinburgh student Natalia Jagielska.
In addition to the fossil findings of giant winged reptiles, previously found footprints of Stegosaurus and other dinosaurs in the Skye area, Scotland.
Paleontologists also believe that the area was once home to a group of dinosaurs still alive at the time.
Jagielska and his team will continue to study the skeleton, to understand how these ancient animals lived and were able to fly.
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