A New Fossil of a Huge Flying Reptile Has Been Discovered
The dinosaurs lived until 65 million years ago, and they left some traces for us humans to consider. Although they existed in a wide variety of shapes, we could use more fossils of these stunning creatures that have been roaming the Earth for 180 million years.
But now a new fossil has been found in Australia, and it baffled the minds of scientists since it belongs to Ferrodraco lentoni, a huge flying dinosaur with a wingspan of about 4 meters (13 feet).
Winton area of central-western Queensland was the place
The fossil has been found in the Winton area of central-western Queensland. The discovery of Ferrodraco lentoni represents the most significant pterosaur fossil ever discovered in Australia since the flying dinosaur lived around 96 million years ago.
By assembling fossil skull fragments, scientists concluded that only two species of pterosaur have previously been found in the nowadays territory of Australia: Mythunga Camara and Aussiedraco molnari.
The Ferrodraco found in Australia was a full-grown adult
The new pterosaur fossil includes a portion of the skull, bones from the wings, and five partial neck vertebrae, representing a fully grown adult. Scientists measured the bones and compared them to dimensions of other pterosaurs, concluding that this flying reptile had a skull reaching 24 inches (60 centimeters) in length, 4 meters for the wingspan, and the creature had been eating fish as the main source of nurturing.
Ferrodraco lived among lake and river systems surrounded by conifer forests, and it was forced to deal with dinosaurs like the sauropods Diamantinasaurus and Savannasaurus, theropods such as Australovenator, ornithopods and ankylosaurs. Ferrodraco was first discovered by Winton grazier Bob Elliott only a bit more than two years ago, in April 2017.
The newfound pterosaur has been published in the journal Scientific Reports.