Scientists make massive breakthrough after scanning ‘absolutely huge’ Jurassic creature | Science | News

Scientists have a massive breakthrough from the fossil of a flying reptile that excavated from a gravel pit.

The pterosaur was excavated from the floor of a quarry near Abingdon-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, in June 2022.

Experts have found it had a vast wingspan of 3.75m (12ft), reports BBC.

Scans of its wing bones, conducted by Portsmouth and Leicester universities, revealed that its wings were “absolutely huge” for a Jurassic pterosaur.

Pterosaurs from this period typically had wingspans ranging from 1.5 to 2 metres (5 feet to 6.5 feet).

Prof David Martill, from the University of Portsmouth, said: “Although this [wingspan] would be small for a Cretaceous pterosaur, it’s absolutely huge for a Jurassic one.

“This fossil is particularly special because it is one of the first records of this type of pterosaur from the Jurassic period in the United Kingdom.

“This specimen is now one of the largest known pterosaurs from the Jurassic period, worldwide.”

Prof Martill noted that it was surpassed only by a specimen in Switzerland with an estimated wingspan of up to 5 meters (16 feet).

The fossil is of an adult ctenochasmatoid, a group of pterosaurs characterised by their long, slender wings, extended jaws, and fine bristle-like teeth.

A paper detailing this discovery has been published in the Proceedings of the Geologists’ Association, an international geoscience journal.

The fossil is currently housed in the Etches Collection in Kimmeridge, Dorset.


This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.