Pelican-like pterosaur found in China


An artist's impression of how the Ikrandraco avatar pterosaur may have fished.
Chuang Zhao

Scientists have unveiled a new species of pterosaur that is thought to have had a pouch similar to that of a pelican, used for scooping prey from the water.

The fossils were found in northeastern China and date to the Early Cretaceous period, about 120 million year ago.

The find is published in Scientific Reports today.

Xiaolin Wang, Alexander Kellner and colleagues named the new pterosaur Ikrandraco avatar, after the Ikran, the fictional flying creatures in the film Avatar.

Northeastern China is particularly rich in flying dinosaur fossils, with many showing evidence that they were covered with feathers, as Cosmos reported recently.

An artist's impression of what the head of the newly discovered pterosaur's head may have looked like. Click to expand.
Chuang Zhao

  1. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/srep06329
  2. http://beta.cosmosmagazine.com/life-sciences/when-dinosaurs-took-skies
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