170 million year old pterosaur found on Isle of Skye

170 million year old pterosaur found on Isle of Skye

A Jurassic flying reptile, a 170-million-year-old pterosaur, has been described as the world’s best-preserved prehistoric creature, discovered on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye winged reptile skeleton, scientists said Tuesday. The world’s largest Jurassic pterosaur, a 170-million-year-old winged reptile, has been spotted poking its head out of the rocks.

The National Museum of Scotland said the Jurassic flying reptile was the largest of its kind discovered since the Jurassic period. The fossil found still have enamel on its teeth.

Neither birds nor bats, pterosaurs were reptiles that ruled the sky during the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods. Instead, the winged reptiles are known as pterosaurs — aeroplane-sized creatures that flew through the sky when dinosaurs walked the Earth — were the first vertebrates to develop propulsion flight.

Pterosaurs, which lived alongside dinosaurs, were the first of three groups of vertebrates to learn to fly about 230 million years ago. Then, during the Cretaceous period, just before the asteroid attack that wiped out the dinosaurs 66 million years ago, pterosaurs such as Quetzalcoatlus reached the size of fighters with a wingspan of 12 meters (40 feet).