Australia’s oldest pterosaur fossils found in ancient polar wilderness

Cosmos Magazine


Cosmos is a quarterly science magazine. We aim to inspire curiosity in ‘The Science of Everything’ and make the world of science accessible to everyone.

By Cosmos

Palaeontologists have analysed pterosaur fossils found 30 years ago in Victoria’s Dinosaur Cove. They found that the bones are the oldest recorded in Australia.

Among the bones is the first juvenile pterosaur fossil found in the country.

But the world these strange flying reptiles occupied in southeast Australia 107 million years ago would have been very different. How did pterosaurs, which soared over an Earth dominated by dinosaurs, adapt to the polar conditions that existed when the continent was much further south than it is today?

Lead researcher Adele Pentland, a PhD Candidate at Curtin University in WA and Research Associate at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum of Natural History in Queensland, speaks about how these oldest Australian pterosaur finds add to the broader picture in understanding these weird, winged animals.

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