Written by Esteban Pardo
Scotland is known for its cloudy days and constant rain. One hundred and seventy million years ago, it was much warmer and warmer – and it had huge reptiles with a wingspan of 2.5 meters (8.2 feet).
That is what archaeologists have found on Sky Island, in northwestern Scotland. The findings were published earlier this week in Current Biology and describe the largest petrocar in the Middle Jurassic period.
The new breed is called Dearc sgiathanach, “Jack Ski-Ak”, a Scottish Gelic name, which means “winged reptiles!” And “Sky attraction”
“The discovery is one of the greatest Scottish fossils,” Stephen Bruce told DW. At the University of Edinburgh, fossil explorer “Jark” discovered a 2017 trip funded by the National Geographic Society.
He referred to the preservation of the fossil, saying: “It is the greatest British skeleton found in Scotland, and perhaps the best British skeleton found in the early 1800s, from the time of Mary Anning.”
Aning was a well-known British paleontologist who discovered many fossils from the first half of the 19th century, including the first Pteroser skeleton outside of Germany.
They are flying creatures, not dinosaurs
Pterosaurs, or pterodactyls, are commonly known as flying creatures from 228 million years ago, 228 million years ago, from Late Triassic to the end of Cretaceous, 66 million years ago, when asteroids almost destroyed all life on Earth. .
Pterosaurs were the first vertebrae to fly. One of the protagonists is Petri Peteroser, who may have already known people who grew up in the series “Land of the Ancients.”
Although their name may indicate, pterosaurs are not dinosaurs. They are close cousins, formed on different branches of the family tree.
Prior to the discovery of this fossil, scientists thought that in the triadic and Jurassic period, Pterosers would be no larger than 1.6 meters, but we know that it could be much larger.
Very unusual fossil
The fossil In 2017, Amelia Penny, then a doctorate student, was spotted on the shores of Sky Island at a place called Brothers Point. She saw the jaw and teeth come out of the limestone.
According to Bruce, the members of the group were delighted to learn that not only the skull but also the entire skeleton. He said it was difficult to remove the fossil from the rock because the tide was rising so fast that they had to wait until midnight for the water to run out and he cut the fossil out of the rock.
The team had to release the findings overnight until the team was ready for a full excavation the next morning.
Another thing that makes this fossil so rare is that the Middle Jurassic fossils are already hard to find, but pterosaurs are even harder to find.
“They are very rarely preserved in the fossil record,” said Jagielska. “They are very thin, have very thin bones and break.”
Draw a “jar”
So what does D. Sgiathanch look like?
Although the level of protection is impressive, the fossil still has many missing parts.
That is why, according to Jagelska, it took a lot of research and foresight to find out about his appearance. The team used many other protagonist fossils from many different museums to fill in the blanks and complete the puzzle.
Jajielska, who is also an illustrator, is a pterosaur with four legs and a 2.5-meter wing – close to Albatros. His forearms are flanked and he is much larger than his back and he has four fingers, and the fourth is as wide as a modern bat. He also had long tails for reasoning and very sharp teeth, especially for fishing.
A closer look at the skull reveals that it may have good vision and a very good balance, “both of which are very important for a flying animal,” said Jagielska.
And the skeleton was not an adult. Scottish researchers analyze bone fragments under a microscope and discover that D.sgiathanch is still growing.
Jajielska says she wants people who look at the fossils of the National Museum of Scotland to spend some time thinking about the fossils that flew over Scotland 170 million years ago. He had many qualities while living.