Have Teeth, Will Fly: Crazy New Pterosaur Fossil Found in China

By Veronique Greenwood | March 1, 2012 11:41 am


One hundred and twenty million years ago, this fearsome creature roamed the skies above China. This recently discovered skull is the first evidence of this species of pterosaur (a flying reptile, not a dinosaur) that scientists have found, though similar fossils have been unearthed halfway around the world in Brazil. The new species name, Guidraco venator, is a portmanteau of Chinese and Latin words together meaning “ghost dragon hunter.” Those dramatic teeth have got scientists talking about how the heck it ate: did it hunt actively for the fish whose bones are in those clumps of poop (“copr” stands for “coprolite“) scattered around it, or did it scavenge? Either way, it looks like a creature that gets whatever it wants, when it wants it.

[via Wired]

  • fintin

    WOW! This is now one of my favorite pterosaurs.

  • Wil

    Perhaps it had a symbiotic relationship with a small dinosaur, the Floss-asaurus.

  • http://www.davehowardlaw.com dave howard

    Should have called it Guidraco Orthodontica.

  • Greg

    The fossil is so amazingly detailed, and how lucky is it to have a sample of its diet laying right beside it!

  • http://discovermagazine.com Iain

    Looks like a finnus flyin trap.

  • Clausentum

    What does the “pla” on the picture stand for? It’s not “plumage” is it?

  • stargene

    They should send this over to Angela (in “Bones”), so she could
    give us a good rendering of what it looked like in life. :-)
    Really, is there a good rendering of this fossil as it looked
    when alive?


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