Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Giant pterosaur discovered - in museum

A pterosaur with one of the coolest scientific names ever - Lacusovagus magnificens, "magnificent lake wanderer," has been described from a fossil found in Brazil but overlooked for years in a German museum. The species had a wingspan of five meters and is the largest known member of a clan of tootless flying reptiles called chaoyangopterids. It doesn't match up to the greatest of the flying reptiles - the mind-boggling Quetzalcoatlus northropi, with a span up to 12 meters by some estimates, and the similar-sized or perhaps even larger Hatzegopteryx thambema - but it's a major find nontheless. And, like I said, it's just plain cool.

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