A new type of prehistoric reptile, from the Dinosaur era, has been discovered in Queensland. The flying creature, with a giant wingspan, is estimated to be 96 million-years-old.
Jasmine Borgeaud reports.
A new type of “flying lizard” has been added to the pterosaur line up.
The species was found near Winton in western Queensland back in April 2017, and then uncovered by palaeontologists at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum.
David Elliott, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum: “We’ve got a lot of dinosaurs in this district and we know that. But things like pterosaurs are extremely rare.”
After two weeks of sifting through the dig site, the palaeontologists successfully uncovered the remains.
Approximately 11 per cent of the skeleton has been revealed, including 40 spiked teeth and a large portion of the skull.
Adele Pentland, Swinburne University of Technology: “This is actually the most complete pterosaur that’s ever been found in Australia.”
The flying lizard’s impressive four-metre wingspan has lead palaeontologists to believe the creature was able to fly across continents.
Similarities have also been drawn between this specimen and others uncovered in the UK and Brazil.
This Aussie species has been nicknamed ‘Butch’ after the late Mayor of Winton.
Western Queensland has been a hot spot for dinosaur discoveries.
In 2009 alone, there were three new species identified, but palaeontologists are confident it won’t be the last.
David Elliott, Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum: “We’ve hardly scratched the surface, you know? Not just in bone discoveries, there’s the dinosaur discoveries. These things are happening so fast, that we’re having trouble keeping up to them.”
Jasmine Borgeaud, QUT News.