Scientists in Chile’s Atacama Desert have unearthed the fossil stays of a so-called “flying dragon,” a Jurassic-era pterosaur beforehand recognized solely to the northern hemisphere. The flying reptile belonged to a gaggle of early pterosaurs that roamed the earth 160 million years in the past. It had an extended, pointed tail, wings and sharp, outward pointing enamel.
The beast’s fossil stays had been found by Osvaldo Rojas, director of the Atacama Desert Museum of Pure Historical past and Tradition, after which additional investigated by scientists on the College of Chile. Particulars of the invention, the primary linking such creatures to the Southern Hemisphere, had been printed within the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
“This reveals the distribution of the animals on this group was wider than what was recognized to this point,” stated Jhonatan Alarcon, a College of Chile scientist who led the investigation. The invention factors to shut ties and doable migration between the northern and southern hemispheres at a time when a lot of the globe’s southerly land lots had been believed to be linked in a supercontinent referred to as Gondwana.
“There are pterosaurs of this group additionally in Cuba, which apparently had been coastal animals, so almost definitely they’ve migrated between the North and the South or perhaps they got here as soon as and stayed, we don’t know,” Alarcon stated.
Chile’s huge Atacama Desert, as soon as largely submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean, is now a moonscape of sand and stone. The area, elements of which haven’t seen rain for many years, is a sizzling spot for fossil discoveries, with many stays untouched in distant areas not far beneath the desert floor.