Remains of huge fossilised flying reptile displayed in Rio

Published March 21, 2013
Brazilian paleontologist Alexander Kellner shows the fossils and a model of the newly-discovered prehistoric pterosaur to journalists during its presentation at Rio's Federal University Museum in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
Brazilian paleontologist Alexander Kellner shows the fossils and a model of the newly-discovered prehistoric pterosaur to journalists during its presentation at Rio's Federal University Museum in Rio de Janeiro. — Reuters Photo
A handout illustration shows the image of the prehistoric pterosaur provided by Rio's Federal University in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
A handout illustration shows the image of the prehistoric pterosaur provided by Rio's Federal University in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Brazilian Paleontologist Alexander Kellner talks in front of the fossil of a newly-discovered prehistoric pterosaur during its presentation at the Rio's Federal University Museum in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Brazilian Paleontologist Alexander Kellner talks in front of the fossil of a newly-discovered prehistoric pterosaur during its presentation at the Rio's Federal University Museum in Rio de Janeiro. — AFP Photo
Fossils and replicas of a Pterosaur of the "Tropeognathus Mesembrinus" species are displayed at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 20, 2013. — AFP Photo
Fossils and replicas of a Pterosaur of the "Tropeognathus Mesembrinus" species are displayed at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 20, 2013. — AFP Photo

 

RIO DE JANEIRO: The fossilized remains of a huge prehistoric flying reptile was unveiled Wednesday at the Rio de Janeiro National Museum where an international congress on the extinct species is to be held in May.

“What makes it particularly special is that it is the most complete fossil ever found, with virtually the entire skeleton and even the skull preserved,”said Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist of the Rio Federal University as he presented a life-size mock-up of the pterosaur or “winged lizard.” The creature has a wingspan of 8.2 meters (27 feet).

The fossil, attributed to the “Tropeognathus mesembrinus” species, was found in the Chapada do Araripe plateau of northeastern Brazil.

Kellner described it as “the biggest ever found in the southern hemisphere and the third worldwide.””We can prove that these giant reptiles flew in the skies of northeast Brazil much earlier than initially thought because fossils were found in rock formations dating 110 million years,” according to Kellner.

He said it was previously thought that pterosaurs lived at the end of the Cretaceous period, some 72 to 86 million years ago. Pterosaur species have been found in places like Morocco, Britain, Mongolia, the United States, China and northeastern Brazil.

Opinion

Editorial

28 Jan, 2022

Never-ending debate

PAKISTAN is gripped by a debate on the presidential system, again. From apparently nowhere, calls for this system...
28 Jan, 2022

Riverfront verdict

THE Lahore High Court decision scrapping the controversial multibillion-dollar Ravi Riverfront Urban Development...
Karachi violence
Updated 28 Jan, 2022

Karachi violence

WEDNESDAY’S events in Karachi indicate that unless the controversy over the Sindh local government law is handled...
Corruption index
27 Jan, 2022

Corruption index

The Transparency report punches a hole in the self-righteous façade of a party that has long beaten the drum of accountability.
27 Jan, 2022

Oslo meeting

A DILEMMA continues to confront the international community where Afghanistan is concerned: whether or not to...
27 Jan, 2022

Sanitary workers’ rights

RELIGIOUS discrimination in Pakistan has many faces and one of its most troubling manifestations is the virtual...