• Tufan Akbay

The remains of two ancient flying reptiles have been identified in Queensland

Updated: Jun 11

Two new ancient flying reptiles have been identified from remains excavated from baked red clay in rural Queensland.

The fossilised pterosaur bones were recovered on cattle stations in Boulia and Winton, approximately 355km apart.

They are believed to date back to the Early and middle Cretaceous period, about 145 million years ago.

The first bone, a partial right femur, was discovered during a field survey in 1991, and a second partial femur was found around Winton ten years later.

Remains of these ancient flying reptiles are rare in Australia and only four pterosaur species have been described to date in Australia.

The new findings have been celebrated by researchers for providing invaluable evidence of how reptiles interacted millions of years ago.

Lead author, Swinburne University doctoral student Adele Pentland said: "It can be difficult to come up with insights into how ancient animals interacted with one another.

However, the presence of two circular depressions on the pterosaur's thighbone suggests it may have been bitten by a small animal. crocodile."

Despite being hundreds of kilometers apart, the two leg bones looked very similar.

"These pterosaurs share a lot in common with each other and with others found in Brazil," Pentland said.

"They are now found on nearly every continent, and their similarity is a clear indication that they are incredibly successful animals."

Outback Queensland is one of Australia's richest fossil resources.

Source and Cover photo: 9news