Canberra, Oct 4 (IANS) An Australian research team on Friday announced that it had discovered the fossilized remains of a new species of gigantic pterosaur, a kind of prehistoric flying reptile, believed to have soared the sky some 96 million years ago.
The species, named Ferrodraco lentoni, had a wingspan of 4 meters (13 feet) and was able to move on the ground with the help of its four extremities, said the author’s main study, Adele Pentland from Melbourne’s Swinburne University of Technology, Efe news reported.
In an article published in “The Conversation” journal on Friday, Pentland pointed out the similarities between this species and other fossils found in places as far away as England, which appeared to suggest that these flying lizards were able to easily traverse continents and oceans.
“Surprisingly, Ferrodraco shows closer ties with similarly-aged pterosaurs from England than it does to those from South America,” she observed, noting that it was one of the most important pterosaur specimens ever found in Australia.
The beast fed on fish and lived “around the lake and river systems surrounded by conifer forests”, Pentland said.
“Based on other fossil evidence, this pterosaur shared its environment with several dinosaurs,” she added.
The fossils, which were discovered in the area of Winton (Queensland), make up one of the completest sets to have ever been found in Australia and include a partial skull, five partial neck vertebrae and bones from both wings.