‘Flying Dragon’ roamed the southern skies as well, scientists say

SANTIAGO, Sept 10 (Reuters) – (This Sept. 10 tale corrects headline and to start with paragraph to make crystal clear the fossil stays were of a pterosaur, not a dinosaur)

Scientists in Chile’s Atacama Desert have unearthed the fossil continues to be of a so-identified as “flying dragon,” a Jurassic-period pterosaur earlier acknowledged only to the northern hemisphere.

The flying reptile belonged to a team of early pterosaurs that roamed the earth 160 million years in the past. It had a prolonged, pointed tail, wings and sharp, outward pointing teeth.

The beast’s fossil stays ended up discovered by Osvaldo Rojas, director of the Atacama Desert Museum of Natural Record and Lifestyle, and then further investigated by scientists at the University of Chile.

Details of the discovery, the first linking this kind of creatures to the Southern Hemisphere, were published in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.

“This exhibits the distribution of the animals in this group was broader than what was acknowledged up to now,” reported Jhonatan Alarcon, a University of Chile scientist who led the investigation.

The discovery points to shut ties and achievable migration involving the northern and southern hemispheres at a time when most of the globe’s southerly land masses were being believed to be connected in a supercontinent called Gondwana.

”There are pterosaurs of this team also in Cuba, which seemingly have been coastal animals, so most probable they have migrated involving the North and the South or maybe they came once and stayed, we don’t know,” Alarcon reported.

Chile’s large Atacama Desert, after largely submerged beneath the Pacific Ocean, is now a moonscape of sand and stone.

The region, parts of which have not witnessed rain for decades, is a sizzling spot for fossil discoveries, with quite a few remains untouched in distant places not far beneath the desert surface area.

Reporting by Dave Sherwood Editing by Cynthia Osterman

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