Scientists Found Fossils of Flying DinosaursArchaeology | December 5, 2019, Thursday // 15:26| views
Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash
Scientists have identified a new species of flying dinosaurs after analyzing fossils found in a limestone quarry in Lebanon, the Daily Mail reported.
The fossils are thought to date back more than 95 million years and belong to pterosaurs. The newly identified pterosaur species has been scientifically named Mimodactylus libanensis.
Representatives of the species are believed to have flown over the Tethys Ocean, located between present-day territories of Europe, North Africa and Northeast Asia. The flying dinosaurs of Mimodactylus libanensis ate crustaceans from the reefs and lagoons in the sea and probably reached present-day China.
“The diversity of pterosaurs 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 Professor Michael Caldwell, a paleontologist at the University of Alberta.
New findings suggest that there were as many species of pterosaurs as there are species of birds today.
Some pterosaurs were the largest flying animals of all time, with wingspans exceeding 30 feet (9 m) and standing heights comparable to modern giraffes.
The newly-discovered species was a comparatively small pterosaur, with long wings and a wingspan of approximately 4.3 feet (1.32 m), Sci-News reported.
The fossils were discovered more than 15 years ago, but it took scientists a long time to analyze them.
Pterosaurs are the first vertebrates to develop the ability to fly.
Pterosaur fossils have been found all over the world. Many of them have unique characteristics.