Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New Giant Toothless Pterosaur Species Discovered

Date:
December 3, 2008
Source:
University of Portsmouth
Summary:
A new species of pterosaur, the largest of its kind to ever be found, has been discovered. It represents an entirely new genus of these flying reptiles that ruled the skies 115 million years ago.

Mark Witton's depiction of the new species Lacusovagus, meaning 'lake wanderer.'
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Portsmouth

A researcher at the University of Portsmouth has identified a new species of pterosaur, the largest of its kind to ever be found. It represents an entirely new genus of these flying reptiles that ruled the skies 115 million years ago.

The finding is significant because it originated in Brazil and is the only example of the Chaoyangopteridae, a group of toothless pterosaurs, to be found outside China and is the largest one ever discovered.

Mark Witton identified the creature from a partial skull fossil from which he was able to estimate that it would have had a five-metre wingspan – bigger than a family car - and would stand over one metre tall at the shoulder.

He said: “Some of the previous examples we have from this family in China are just 60 centimetres long – as big as the skull of the new species. Put simply, it dwarfs any chaoyangopterid we’ve seen before by miles.”

Witton has christened the new species Lacusovagus, meaning ‘lake wanderer’, after the large body of water in which the remains were buried. The findings were published in the journal Palaeontology in November.

He was asked to examine the specimen which had lain in a German museum for several years after its discovery in the Crato Formation of the Araripe Basin in North East Brazil, an area well known for the its fossils and their excellent state of preservation. However, he said that this fossil was preserved in an unusual way, making its interpretation difficult.

“Usually fossils like this are found lying on their sides but this one was lying on the roof of its mouth and had been rather squashed which made even figuring out whether it had teeth difficult. Still, it’s clear to see that Lacusovagus had an unusually wide skull which has implications for its feeding habits – maybe it liked particularly large prey. The remains are very fragmentary, however, so we need more specimens before we can draw any conclusions.”

Witton said: “The discovery of something like this in Brazil - so far away from its closest relatives in China - demonstrates how little we actually know about the distribution and evolutionary history of this fascinating group of creatures.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Portsmouth. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Portsmouth. "New Giant Toothless Pterosaur Species Discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 December 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203084524.htm>.
University of Portsmouth. (2008, December 3). New Giant Toothless Pterosaur Species Discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203084524.htm
University of Portsmouth. "New Giant Toothless Pterosaur Species Discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/12/081203084524.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Snack Attack: Study Says Action Movies Make You Snack More

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — You're more likely to gain weight while watching action flicks than you are watching other types of programming, says a new study published in JAMA. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Get A Mortgage, Receive A Cat — Only In Russia

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The incentive is in keeping with a Russian superstition that it's good luck for a cat to be the first to cross the threshold of a new home. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

U.N. Says Ebola Travel Restrictions Will Cause Food Shortage

Newsy (Sep. 2, 2014) — The U.N. says the problem is two-fold — quarantine zones and travel restrictions are limiting the movement of both people and food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

Sharks Off the Menu and on the Tourist Trail in Palau

AFP (Sep. 2, 2014) — Tourists in Palau clamour to dive with sharks thanks to a pioneering conservation initiative -- as the island nation plans to completely ban commercial fishing in its vast ocean territory. 01:15 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins