Science & Tech
Study of well-preserved specimen suggests ancient flying reptiles were far more diverse than previously thought.
Ancient flying reptiles known as pterosaurs were much more diverse than originally thought, according to a new study by an international group of paleontologists.
The research—conducted by scientists at the University of Alberta and the Museu Nacional in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil—reveals an ancient and extremely well-preserved pterosaur specimen originally discovered in a private limestone quarry in Lebanon more than 15 years ago.
“The diversity of these ancient animals was much greater than we could ever have guessed at, and is likely orders of magnitude more diverse than we will ever be able to discover from the fossil record,” said U of A paleontologist Michael Caldwell, who was a co-author on the study.
Results also suggest that this particular type of pterosaur likely fed on crustaceans, flying on long, narrow wings and c...