Prehistoric lizards excavated in the Chilean desert

This site may earn affiliate commissions from the links on this page. terms of service..

Rhamphorhynchusphyllurus. (image: Ryan Sonma/ FunkMonk, CC BY-SA 2.0)
Pterosaurs are an interesting bunch. They are the first vertebrates to fly and share many characteristics with birds, even though they are not directly related. Despite the great temporal overlap between dinosaurs and pterosaurs, pterosaurs are not really dinosaurs. Both they and dinosaurs are descendants of a flock of ancient reptiles and bird-like things known as archosaurs, and pterosaurs are more closely associated with dinosaurs and birds than other reptiles.

Pterosaurs are less fossilized than dinosaurs, so our understanding of the range and lifestyle of these ancient creatures is still evolving. Nevertheless, there are some places that are kinder than others to preserve even the fragile bones of flying creatures. One of them is Atacama, which basically doesn’t rain. Therefore, there is almost no movement of salty alkaline deposits. A remarkable fossil pile was unearthed in 2009, but was soon caught up in illegal fossil trading and sold in the black market. Chilean scientists who recovered and identified fossils clearly It first represents paleontology: The skeleton is a winged reptile called the Lamporhinchin Pterosaur, the first of its kind known to live outside the Gondwana continent.

Some reports call this “DragonGiven that kind of physiology, I think this is quite appropriate. A lizard with a pointed nose and sharp teeth, four limbs, membranous wings, and a long tail with a “unique diamond-shaped end”.Personally, I think it’s similar to Ikran Avatar (I’m still not sure if there was the same Technicolor skin). With feather-light bones and a wingspan of about 2 meters, it would have been a capable flyer. And since its full name is the tongue twister “Ranforintin Pterosaur”, I’ll call it an apple.

The fossils are beautifully preserved. This is unusual. Normally, the skeleton of a flying object is crushed flat over the years, crushing bird-like bones. However, apples were found in the extreme location of Atacama. It is the driest place on earth, the coolest and coastal desert, so it is used to capture the Martian scene. There is a huge upwelling just off the coast called the Humboldt Current. The Humboldt Current is also very productive in terms of aquatic life. Apples would have swooped into the shallow waters of the rocky coast and robbed the water of their prey. Thin chin and forward teeth.. When he died, his bones were gently covered with sand and sediment, resulting in the amazing 3D preservation we see. The apple rocks were finally exposed as the sea receded to form the Atacama Desert.

Another notable thing about our Ikran buddies is his place. The fossil is located in the Late Jurassic strata of Atacama and is said to be 160 million years old. (Pterosaurs were millions of years of twilight when asteroids collided.) And Atacama is in the Southern Hemisphere of Chile. So far, with a few exceptions from Argentina, most of the fossil pterosaurs that were part of Laurasia, a supercontinent that split to form most of North America, Europe, and Asia. Found. Finding vintage apple fossils in Chile confirms the idea of ​​pterosaur migration and distribution throughout Laurasia’s supercontinent Gondwana, which eventually formed most of South America’s land.

Read now: Prehistoric lizards excavated in the Chilean desert

Back to top button