New pterosaur with huge tongue discovered in Australia

New pterosaur with huge tongue discovered in Australia

The new species had a wingspan of 4.2 metres and may have been a large predator at the time.

12 June
2024
– 10:49 am

(Updated at 11:35 am)

Summary
A new species of pterosaur, Haliskia peterseni, has been discovered in Australia. Study and analysis of the bones suggest that it had a fleshy tongue that was used to catch slippery animals.

Artistic reproduction of Halischia petersenii

Photo: Gabriel N. Ugueto/Disclosure

New research from Curtin University in Australia has found fossilized bones that are 100 million years old. They belong to a new species In PterosaursOne snake The flyer that lived among the dinosaurs.

The study was published this Wednesday (12) in the journal Scientific Reports.

The bones were discovered in Queensland in 2021 AustraliaBy Kevin Peterson, curator of the Kronosaurus Korner Museum.

You Fossils related to Halischia peterseniiNew species anhanguerianaA species of pterosaur.

Pterosaurs were a group of flying reptiles that lived from the Late Triassic Period to the end of the Cretaceous Period.

The species is recognized for its diverse sizes and adaptations, ranging from small, bird-like creatures to giant predators with wingspans of over 10 meters.

According to the research, one feature that sets the pterosaur apart from other known ones is its throat bones, which are extremely large in size, suggesting that its tongue was huge and muscular.

The results of the bone analysis suggest that the tongue was used to capture and hold prey, probably slippery animals such as squid and fish.

Species Description

Doctoral student Adele Pentland led the team that identified the specimen as an Anhangurian based on the shape of the skull, the arrangement of the teeth, and the shape of the shoulder bone.

This group of pterosaurs lived in various parts of the world, including what is now Brazil, England, Morocco, China, Spain, and the United States.

“With a wingspan of about 4.6 meters, Halischia would have been a fearsome predator about 100 million years ago,” Edel said in a press release.

According to the scientist Dinosaurs lived while much of west central Queensland was underwater, covered by an inland sea and was globally positioned where the south coast of Victoria is today.

She also highlights that through Peterson’s care, this was the most complete discovery of anhangurian, and of any pterosaur, ever discovered in Australia.

Halischia petersenii It is 22% complete, making it more than twice as complete as the only other partial pterosaur skeleton ever found in the country.

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“The specimen includes the entire lower jaw, the tip of the upper jaw, 43 teeth, vertebrae, ribs, bones of both wings and part of a leg. Also present are very thin and delicate throat bones, indicating a muscular tongue, which would have helped in feeding on fish and cephalopods”, she highlights.

New species joins other marine fossils including Kronosaurus Koerner Museum Kronosaurus queenslandicusthe largest marine reptile ever known in Australia. Its skull is at least 2.4 metres long and it is the most complete plesiosaur from the country.

In addition, the exhibition also brings together the bones of the plesiosaur Erromangasaurus and the ichthyosaur Platypterygius.

In a statement, Peterson said this latest discovery is an exciting boost for science, education and regional tourism. “I’m thrilled that my discovery is a new species, as my passion is to help shape our modern knowledge about prehistoric species,” he said.

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About the author: Cory Weinberg

"Student. Subtly charming organizer. Certified music advocate. Writer. Lifelong troublemaker. Twitter lover."

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