Pterosaur Fossils Come From New Species Of Prehistoric Flying Reptile, Scientists Say

By: Megan Gannon
Published: 02/05/2013 11:56 AM EST on LiveScience

Scientists say they’ve discovered the fossilized bones of a new type of pterosaur, a flying dinosaur-age reptile, which lived about 68 million years ago and had a wingspan of nearly 10 feet (3-meters).

The skeletal bits of the mid-sized pterosaur were found in Sebeş-Glod in Romania’s Transylvanian Basin, famous for its rich array of Late Cretaceous fossils, including crocodylomorphs (ancient relatives of crocodiles), mammals, turtles and dinosaurs like the dwarf sauropod Magyarosaurus dacus and the dromaeosaur Balaur. Scientists dubbed the new reptile Eurazhdarcho langendorfensis and say it belonged to a group of pterosaurs called the azhdarchids.

Pterosaurs lived among the dinosaurs and became extinct about the same time, but they were not dinosaurs. They are sometimes wrongly called pterodactyls, which actually just describes the first genus of pterosaur discovered by scientists in the 18th century. Small pterosaurs developed during the Triassic Period, about 230 to 200 million years ago. Later, during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods, more advanced forms of the flying reptiles, like azhdarchids, started evolving.

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Pterosaur Fossils Come From New Species Of Prehistoric Flying Reptile, Scientists Say

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