Archaeologists have found the remains of a pterosaur that lived 170 million years ago

(ORDO NEWS) — On the Isle of Skye, which is located in Scotland, they found a skeleton belonging to the largest pterosaur of the Jurassic period. The researchers note that this individual lived about 170 million years ago.

The remains were discovered by graduate student Amelia Penny back in 2017. Then field work was carried out on the Isle of Skye.

She saw in the ancient limestone layer a jaw lined with incredibly sharp teeth. As a result, Natalya Yagelskaya was involved in further research.

As specialists managed to find out, the skeleton belonged to a pterosaur. Scientists have not encountered this species before.

It was named Dearc sgiathanach, which means “winged reptile”. This find is evidence that pterosaurs actually lived on the planet 25 million years earlier than scientists thought.

It is worth noting that individuals who lived in the Jurassic period had a wingspan of no more than two meters. The discovered individual was much larger and its wingspan was 2.5 meters.

Archaeologists note that the animal was actually a teenager, so it was at the stage of active growth. Accordingly, in adulthood, the wingspan could be more than three meters.

The creature lived 170 million years ago. It is the largest among those that could be found before. Experts emphasize that pterosaurs became the largest only in the Cretaceous period, which came after the Jurassic.

To date, it is generally accepted that pterosaurs became larger in size due to the fact that there was strong competition between different animal species, which only intensified in the Cretaceous period.

But the discovered remains cast doubt on this theory, because this huge bird lived even when the Jurassic period did not end.

It is worth paying attention to the fact that the remains of pterosaurs are incredibly rare, because their skeletons are very fragile and poorly preserved.

David Unwin said that previously only minor fossil fragments could be found, which could indicate that pterosaurs were large. But the new find plays an incredibly important role, because it has been very well preserved to this day.


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