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.

Related Articles


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 March 2, 2015 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 March 2, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, March 2, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

Whale-Watching Scientists Spot Baby Orca

AP (Feb. 28, 2015) Researchers following endangered killer whales spotted a baby orca off the coast of Washington state, the third birth documented this winter but still leaving the population dangerously low. (Feb. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Drinks for Your Health

The Best Drinks for Your Health

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) When it comes to health and fitness, there&apos;s lots of talk about what foods to eat, but there are a few liquids that can promote good nutrition. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the healthiest drinks to boost your health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Cherries, Snap Peas and More Tasty Spring Produce

Buzz60 (Feb. 27, 2015) From sweet cherries to sugar snap peas, spring is the peak season for some of the tastiest and healthiest produce. Krystin Goodwin (@Krystingoodwin) has the best seasonal fruits and veggies to spring in to good health! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Best Foods to Battle Stress

The Best Foods to Battle Stress

Buzz60 (Feb. 26, 2015) If you&apos;re dealing with anxiety, there are a few foods that can help. Krystin Goodwin (@krystingoodwin) has the best foods to tame stress. Video provided by Buzz60
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

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