According to the research, this pterosaur with a supposed wingspan of 7 meters and with the name of Thapunngaka shawi has been described in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology .
The pterosaur species was discovered in northwestern Queensland and dates to around 110 million years ago, from the Cretaceous era.
“It’s the closest thing we have to a real-life dragon; it would have been a fearsome beast, with a spear-shaped mouth and a twenty-foot wingspan. Basically, it was just a skull with a long neck, screwed into a pair. long-winged “, explains Tim Richards, co-author of the work.
T. shawi lived on the shores of the ancient Eromanga Sea of Queensland and its diet would have been based on both sea fish and small land creatures.
“It would have cast a big shadow on some trembling little dinosaur who wouldn’t have heard it until it was too late ,” Richards said.
At the Australian site, researchers found the front part of a mandible (lower jaw) that was found by amateur fossil hunter Len Shaw, who gave the creature its name, in a quarry near Richmond that has provided some of the best Marine fossils from the Cretaceous of Australia. But most of the skeleton is missing, but considering the size of the jaw, T. shawi would have required a wingspan of 6-7 meters to balance it, making it the third largest Anhanguerian pterosaur in the world. The jaw is now on display at Kronosaurus Korner, as part of a museum tour through western Queensland dedicated to Australia’s dinosaur age discoveries.
Referencia: Richards et a. “A new species of crested pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea, Anhangueridae) from the Lower Cretaceous (upper Albian) of Richmond, North West Queensland, Australia” Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 2021