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Pterosaur Bones Recovered In Australia Show The Oldest Flying Creature Lived There 107 Million Years Ago

Pterosaur bones recovered in Australia show the oldest flying creature lived there 107 million years ago according to a recent study published in the scientific journal History Biology. They have found evidence suggesting that pterosaurs, the world's oldest flying reptiles, once soared through the Australian skies approximately 107 million years ago.

Daisy-Mae Schmitt
May 31, 2023168 Shares20958 Views
Pterosaur bones recovered in Australia show the oldest flying creature lived there 107 million years agoaccording to a recent study published in the scientific journal History Biology. They have found evidence suggesting that pterosaurs, the world's oldest flying reptiles, once soared through the Australian skies approximately 107 million years ago. This finding is based on the analysis of two prehistoric bones that were unearthed over three decades ago at Dinosaur Cove, a fossil-rich site in Victoria, Australia.
The bones, which have been identified as the oldest remains of pterosaurs ever found in Australia, provide valuable insights into the prehistoric wildlife that inhabited the region. Pterosaurs were remarkable creatures and the first vertebrates to evolve the ability to fly. They coexisted with dinosaurs during the Mesozoic Era, a geological period that spanned from approximately 252 million years ago.
The study was conducted by a team of experts from Curtin University in Perth and Museums Victoria in Melbourne. Through meticulous examination of the bones, including a wing bone from the first juvenile pterosaur ever documented in Australia, the researchers were able to determine the ancient presence of these giant flying reptiles in Australia.
This discovery sheds new light on the biodiversity of prehistoric Australia and contributes to our understanding of the evolution of flight in vertebrates. It underscores the importance of continued paleontological research and exploration in unearthing the secrets of our planet's distant past.
A recent study published in the scientific journal History Biology has unveiled fascinating findings about the pterosaurs that once inhabited Australia during the Cretaceous Period, which occurred between 145 million and 66 million years ago. The research, led by Adele Pentland from Curtin University, has shed light on the presence of these enormous creatures with wingspans exceeding two meters (6.5 ft) and some reaching lengths of over 10 meters (33 ft).

Oldest flying reptile found in Australia: 107 million years ago.

The discovery of these Australian pterosaur specimens was made possible by an excavation conducted in the 1980s at Dinosaur Cove, led by renowned paleontologists Tom Rich and Pat Vickers-Rich from the Museums Victoria Research Institute. The team carefully unearthed a fragment of pelvis bone, which provided crucial evidence of the presence of these massive flying reptiles in the region.
Remarkably, the study reveals that these pterosaurs managed to navigate the challenging conditions of the Cretaceous Period, even during prolonged periods of darkness. This finding challenges previous assumptions about the limitations these creatures faced during an era when Victoria experienced weeks of continuous darkness.
According to Adele Pentland, the lead author of the study from Curtin University, Australia occupied a more southern position compared to its current location during the time when the two pterosaur specimens were discovered. She further explained that the excavation site where the specimens were recovered would have been situated within the polar circle back then.
Since the 1980s, only a small number of pterosaur remains, belonging to four different species, have been found in Australia. In contrast, locations like Brazil and Argentina have yielded over 100 sets of pterosaur remains at individual sites, emphasizing the scarcity of such finds in Australia.
Pentland, a PhD student involved in the study, attributed the several decades it took to confirm the significance of the specimens to the lack of interest in pterosaurs within the country until she took up the research and brought attention to them.

Conclusion

Tom Rich from the Museums Victoria Research Institute expressed his delight in seeing the fruits of the excavation work conducted at Dinosaur Cove in the 1980s. The discovery of the pterosaur bones is a testament to the efforts of volunteers who spent years meticulously excavating a 60-meter tunnel within a seaside cliff, ultimately leading to this remarkable find.
“These two fossils were the outcome of a labor-intensive effort by more than 100 volunteers over a decade,” he added.
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