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Tue Oct 8, 2019, 02:08 AM

Fossilised partial skeleton of new flying reptile species found in Queensland

Pterosaur had four-metre wingspan, lived about 90m years ago and was capable of crossing continents

Ben Smee
Thu 3 Oct 2019 11.00 EDTLast modified on Fri 4 Oct 2019 12.30 EDT

In the heart of Queensland, palaeontologists have found the fossilised partial skeleton of a new pterosaur species capable of flying across continents.

The pterosaur, with a four-metre wingspan, may have lived about 90m years ago.

It was found in ironstone near the outback town of Winton and named Ferrodraco lentoni – or “Butch’s Iron Dragon” – in honour of the pioneering former mayor of Winton, Graham “Butch” Lenton, who died in 2017.

The fossil was discovered by a local grazier in 2017. It is the most complete pterosaur specimen found in Australia; including parts of the skull and five vertebrae and wing elements.

“It would have been a sight to see,” said Adele Pentland from Swinburne University, the lead author of a study published in the journal Scientific Reports. “It has a wingspan of about four metres, which is pretty big compared to our modern-day birds.


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