September 10, 2005

18 Meter Wingspan

Wow. Scientists think that the pterosaur had an 18 meter wingspan. In layman terms, this flying creature had almost a 60 ft wingspan. And they believe that the pterosaur didn't stop growing when they pass adolescence. They would just grow and grow and grow until they die. As a comparison, the modern bird with the largest wingspan is the wandering albatross with a wingspan of 3.5 meters.

These amazing creatures were marvels of flight engineering. According to Dr David Martill:

"Pterosaurs were beautifully engineered," he told BBC News.

"Their skeletons were exceedingly light: their bones were very thin and hollow, and those hollows were filled with an air-sack system. They'd also got rid of their reptilian scales and their wing membrane was very, very thin.

"All this meant there wasn't that much weight to get off the ground, and so they probably flew really rather well," the researcher said.

The largest fossil was recently uncovered in Mexico. Fossils of 13 to 14 meters have been found in Romania and Brazil. Scientists think that they could find bigger examples in the future.

Posted by Mary at September 10, 2005 12:30 PM | Science | Technorati links |