New Genus and Species of Pterosaur Discovered in Morocco

27 05 2010

An international team of paleontologists has discovered a new genus and species of pterosaur in the Kem Kem formation of southeastern Morocco.  Published May 26, in the online journal Public Library of Science One (PLoS One), it is named Alanqa saharica, and according to the authors is “the first clear evidence for the presence of azhdarchids in Gondwana at the start of the Late Cretaceous.”

The remains discovered at the site, along with other specimens now ascribed to the new species, represent animals with wingspans of approximately three to four meters.  However, a vertebra discovered that probably belongs to the same species indicates that a wingspan of six meters was possible.

The discovery adds to our knowledge of pterosaurs from Africa, which has been severely limited until recently, and even now is represented only by a number of fragmentary specimens.

The article can be read in its entirety at the following link: 
http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0010875.

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