The wingspan of a pterosaur that soared in the sky 160 million years ago was 6.5 feet (2 meters). A long, pointed tail. Outward protruding teeth — Jurassic-Creatures of the times The nickname for that terrifying “dragon”.
The exact genus and species of the lizard is unknown, but scientists believe it is a member of the lanphorincinae, a subfamily of lanphorincoid, one of the two major types of pterosaurs (). Along with pterosaurs).
Compared to PterodactyloidsLike the genus Pteranodon, which includes species with wingspans greater than 23 feet (7 meters), Rhamphorhynchinae had on average a small, long tail and a fully toothed jaw instead of a beak. Mammals from the sea. This discovery is the first time a member of the subfamily Rhamphorhynchinae has been found below the equator.
“This discovery was very exciting,” Jhonatan Alarcón, a scientist at the University of Chile who led the study, told Live Science in an email translated from Spanish. “We were the first paleontologists to reveal the existence of the Rhamphorhynchinae subfamily in the Southern Hemisphere. Prior to this discovery, it was believed that these pterosaurs did not exist at these latitudes.”
According to Alarcon, Oswald Rojas, director of the Atacama Desert Natural History Museum, discovered the fossils in 2009. Rojas broke open a rock in the desert that intrigued him and found the long fossilized bones of an ancient reptile preserved inside. Analysis by Alarcon revealed that the ancient ruins belong to an unknown species of the subfamily Rhamphorhynchinae.
It is speculated that reptile debris rests on the driest sands of the planet, far south of northern Chile. So far, Alarcon said, “This pterosaur is not a mobile species,” but the findings suggest that at least one member of Rhamphorhynchinae was dispersed from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere.
When the ancient winged lizards lived, most of the land in the Southern Hemisphere was part of a supercontinent called. GondwanaFormed after the larger supercontinent Pangea It split in two. Alarcon speculated that a Chilean flying dragon may have moved south from the supercontinent north of Laurasia to Gondwana. The Chilean dragon may have followed the southern coast, as some members of Rhamphorhynchinae have also been found along the modern Cuban coast.
“I probably followed the coastline, so I tried not to get too far from the food,” he said.
The researcher’s next step is to carefully extract the last part of the fossil that remains trapped in the rock.
Then they plan to make further comparisons with others in the same subfamily as their pterosaurs. By doing so, they hope to be able to understand whether the pterosaur is a completely new species.
The findings were published in the journal on September 6th. Actor Pale Ontology Capo Polonica.
Originally published in Live Science.
A fossil of a “flying dragon” preserved in a rock in the Chilean desert was found
Source link A fossil of a “flying dragon” preserved in a rock in the Chilean desert was found