Scientists have unveiled a newly discovered species of a pterosaur on September 11, the largest ever flying animal according to a study conducted by Queen Mary University in London. They are plane-sized reptiles that domineered the skies in the ancient times of the history over T-rex, Triceratops and other dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous. These species come from the Azhdarchid group of pterosaurs. They were the largest flying reptiles with a wingspan of up to 10 meters and weighs 250 kgs which lived during the period of Cretaceous around 77 million years ago. The remains of the reptiles were found 30 years ago in Alberta, Canada, but palaeontologists assumed it wrong believing the species belonged to an already known species of pterosaur discovered in Texas, USA, named Quetzalcoatlus.
Quetzalcoatlus is one of the largest flying animals that’s ever existed - as far as we know. It’s not a dinosaur! Birds are dinosaurs; Quetzalcoatlus was a pterosaur. It was about as tall as a giraffe... so if you imagine a giraffe flying around, that’ll give you some idea. pic.twitter.com/leHfP5QQKf— Steve Stewart-Williams (@SteveStuWill) March 15, 2019
Cryodrakon boreas, are the largest flying animal of all time, researchers reported in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Author and researcher of Queen Mary University, London, David Hone, said its a very great discovery. He said it's great being able to identify Cryodrakon as being distinct from Quetzalcoatlus, the other giant pterosaur which they have earlier mistaken. The fossil remains of the species consisting of a skeleton that has part of the wings, legs, neck and a rib of a fully grown specimen have clarified the doubt of a new species that has been discovered.
These species were carnivorous which probably predated on lizards, small mammals, and even baby dinosaurs. Unlike the other pterosaur groups, these species are known primarily from terrestrial settings and their ability to cross oceanic distances in flight made believe the scientists they lived in inland environments. There are more than 100 known species of pterosaurs according to the researchers. Due to their large size and wide distribution across the continents of North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe, only fragmentary remains have been discovered making the new find especially vital.
(With PTI inputs)