107-million-year-old fossil pterosaur bones found at Dinosaur Cove in Australia.

A flying dragon with gigantic wings and fierce teeth is the stuff of myth, yet the prehistoric pterosaur is often compared to one.

Now, scientists have confirmed that 107-million-year-old fossils found in Victoria are the oldest remains of pterosaurs that soared across the Australian landscape.

Pterosaurs were flying reptiles, that lived alongside their dinosaur cousins during the Mesozoic Era, which began 252 million years ago.

They were the first and largest vertebrates to fly — taking to the skies 65 million years before birds – and they lifted off using membranous wings that were more bat-like than bird-like.

Pterosaur fossils are very rare, especially in Australia.

That's why palaeontologists were excited when two tiny fossils were found embedded in a seaside cliff near Cape Otway,  220 kilometres south-west of Melbourne in the 1980s.

The bones were discovered by a team led by veteran palaeontologists Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich, who were responsible for naming the location 'Dinosaur Cove'.

The fossils, described formally for the first time today in the journal Historical Biology are a partial pelvis bone and a bone from the left wing — both of which fit in the palm of a hand.

For decades, the bones lay in Museums Victoria's collection until palaeontology student Adele Pentland of Curtin University decided to formally describe and analyse them as part of her PhD.

Source: www.abc.net.au


No comments:

Post a Comment




Popular Posts

Blog Archive

Recent Posts