Pterosaur dinosaurs could fly across continents

Monday, November 22, 2010

Scientists have discovered that a Pterosaur with the size of a giraffe was capable of flying for thousands of miles.

Dr. Mark Witton, from the University of Portsmouth and Dr Michael Habib from Chatham University have studied how the giant Pterosaur could get off the ground. They found that the reptiles took off by using the powerful muscles of their legs and arms to push off from the ground, effectively pole-vaulting over their wings. Once airborne they could fly huge distances and could even cross continents.

Most birds take off either by running to pick up speed and jumping into the air before flapping wildly. Theories suggest that giant pterosaurs were too big to perform either of these and therefore they would have remained on the ground but when examining pterosaurs the bird analogy can be stretched too far.

These were not birds but they were flying reptiles with a distinctly different skeletal structure, wing proportions and muscle mass. The anatomy of these creatures is unique.


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