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Tuesday 30 September 2014

Pterosaurs' desert home is unearthed in Brazil

Published 14/08/2014 | 02:30

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An artist's impression of the Caiuajara dobruskii, showing its three growth stages

Evidence of a colony of pterosaurs that lived around a desert lake in southern Brazil around 100 million years ago has been uncovered by scientists.

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Fossil remains of at least 47 of the previously unknown flying reptiles, with wingspans ranging from two to eight feet, were discovered at Cruzeiro do Oeste.

The huge number of bones could represent hundreds of young and adult individuals, scientists believe.

It is the first time scientists have located a pterosaur "bone bed" containing fossils from many individuals of the same species.

The site where they were found covers an area of less than 20 square metres. It is not known how they died.

Caiuajara dobruskii had a large bony crest on the top of the head that changed from being small and inclined in juveniles to large and steep in adults. It is thought to have been a gregarious species that learned to fly at a very young age.

Irish Independent

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