Ptersoaur news

Pterosaurs (flying dinosaurs) probably capture everyone’s imagination at some point.  I still have a bunch of plastic pterodactyls that I’ve been meaning to mount some 1/72 Zulus on, Hyborian style….  Anyway driving to work this morning I hear about a neat theory presented at a conference, the gist of which is that the largest pterosaurs could fly for days, at altitudes up to 15000 feet, and at a speed of about 80 mph…enough to cover up to 10,000 miles, which is an ocean-crossing range. And they could do it on stores of fat about equal to the mass of a human. Apparently the paper is based on strong aerodynamics knowledge but admittedly scanty fossil records… although recent finds in around the world seem to promise more pterosaur fossils to come. So that’s pretty cool.

They’re talking about a pterosaur with a 35 foot wingspan, which is wyvern or small dragon size. Good luck getting away from a dragon, huh?

Published in: on November 22, 2010 at 8:52 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. With that kind of range, we have to wonder if they carried anything (even accidentally) across such distances?

    Did they spread dust, pollen, seeds?

    Did they carry prey over long distances? (bones thought to be indigenous to an area are in fact from far away?)

    Love this kind of stuff…

    • Good questions. Some of party-pooper scientists caution that we don’t know they ever actually flew that far, although by the calculations they could. They seem to have eaten smallish prey (baby dinos and things about the size of a fox or smaller) so although the biggest were around 400 kilograms, their prey was small animals. I understand all they have of the big guys in temrs of fossils are some wing bones, so there is a certain amount of speculation going on.

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