With the evolution of research techniques, scientists are constantly making discoveries on dinosaurs allowing life on Earth to be reconstructed before humans. Until recently, they found Quetzalcoatlus fossils revealing a lot of information about the life of it. These valuable data will be used to strengthen men’s knowledge of former inhabitants of the globe.
The Quetzalcoatlus is a pterosaur recognized as the largest flying living being on the planet ever recorded. For more than half a century, its history remained incomplete, due to the constant research carried out by paleontologists. With these fossils, the researchers were able to identify two new species of the animal.
Despite this great discovery, science still has little information on the Quetzalcoatlus. For now, the full study and other information about the team can be found in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
Quetzalcoatlus lawsoni and Wellnhopterus brevirostri join the collection
Since the discovery of the Quetzalcoatlus in 1971, paleontologists have identified a number of species, the largest of which is the Quetzalcoatlus northropi. However, the fossils found by the researchers have made it possible to reconstruct two hitherto unknown species: the Quetzalcoatlus lawsoni and the Wellnhopterus brevirostri. The information collected on these two genres was applied to the others.
For their study, the team focused particularly on thesmallest species, the Quetzalcoatlus lawsoni, because there are more bones. Scientists used it to reconstruct a almost complete skeleton of Quetzalcoatlus.
The Quetzalcoatlus more impressive than expected
With this bone model, paleontologists first supported the opinion that pterosaurs flew extremely well. This confirmation also made the professor affirm Kevin padian : “Pterosaurs have a huge breastbone, where the flight muscles attach themselves. So there is no doubt that they were great pilots. “.
On the other hand, the most impressive analysis resulting from the scientists’ analysis states that the Quetzalcoatlus used its toothless jaws to heron way. According to the group, the animal consumed crabs and clams and could dive from the sky to catch its prey. This theory contradicts the old one which mentions that the Quetzalcoatlus would be a scavenger.
“The jaws are very long and thin, and end in a point. […] And if you look at the jaws of a heron or an egret, they are identical, good for plucking lizards and other small game, but certainly not for skinning carcasses. He had no teeth. […] He could lower his large head well below the horizontal, so that if he moved above dry land, he could have descended and plucked an unsuspecting animal. “
Kevin Padian, Professor and Paleontologist at the University of California