Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New species of ancient flying reptile identified on British Columbia coast

Date:
January 10, 2011
Source:
University of Alberta
Summary:
Persistence paid off for a paleontology researcher, who after months of pondering the origins of a fossilized jaw bone, finally identified it as a new species of pterosaur, a flying reptile that lived 70 million years ago.

Persistence paid off for a University of Alberta paleontology researcher, who after months of pondering the origins of a fossilized jaw bone, finally identified it as a new species of pterosaur, a flying reptile that lived 70 million years ago.

Victoria Arbour says she was stumped when the small piece of jaw bone was first pulled out of of a fossil storage cabinet in the U of A's paleontology department.

"It could have been from a dinosaur, a fish or a marine reptile," said Arbour. "

Arbour, a PhD student in paleontology, says the first clue to the fossil's identify came after she compared it to known species of pterosaurs, "I found a previously published paper describing the teeth of a previously discovered pterosaur and ours was very close," said Arbour.

"The teeth of our fossil were small and set close together," said Arbour. "They reminded me of piranha teeth, designed for pecking away at meat." That led Arbour to believe her new species, named Gwawinapterus beardi was a scavenger of the late Cretaceous. "It had a wing span of about 3 metres and patrolled the sky and set down to feed on the leftover kills made by predator dinosaurs of the time such as Albertosaurus."

The fossil is not only a new species it's the first pterosaur of any kind to be found in British Columbia. It was found on Hornby Island, off the coast of Vancouver Island

However, Arbour says the place where the fossil was located has little to do with the actual area where the living pterosaur, was actually flying around 70 million years ago.

"In the late Cretaceous period, the B.C. coastal islands were about 2,500 kilometres to the south and part of what is now mainland, California," said Arbour.

Arbour's research was published in the Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences.


Story Source:

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


Journal Reference:

  1. Victoria M. Arbour, Philip J. Currie. An istiodactylid pterosaur from the Upper Cretaceous Nanaimo Group, Hornby Island, British Columbia, Canada. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences, 2011; 48 (1): 63 DOI: 10.1139/E10-083

Cite This Page:

University of Alberta. "New species of ancient flying reptile identified on British Columbia coast." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 January 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121713.htm>.
University of Alberta. (2011, January 10). New species of ancient flying reptile identified on British Columbia coast. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121713.htm
University of Alberta. "New species of ancient flying reptile identified on British Columbia coast." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/01/110110121713.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-Fuel Impala

3BL Media (Oct. 20, 2014) Hey, Doc! Sewage, Beer and Food Scraps Can Power Chevrolet’s Bi-fuel Impala Video provided by 3BL
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