Giant Flying Reptile Pterosaur

Quetzalcoatlus Northropi An Ancient Bird Next To A Human

Image running into this thing. Luckily no humans around when this beast was on the planet.

Quetzalcoatlus is a pterosaur known from the Late Cretaceous period of North America, it was one of the largest known flying animals of all time. Quetzalcoatlus is a member of the family Azhdarchidae, a family of advanced toothless pterosaurs with unusually long, stiffened necks. Its name comes from the Aztec feathered serpent god, Quetzalcoatl, in Nahuatl. The type and only species is Q. northropi.

The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in Texas, United States, from the Maastrichtian Javelina Formation at Big Bend National Park (dated to around 68 million years ago in 1971 by Douglas A. Lawson, a geology graduate student from the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. The specimen consisted of a partial wing (in pterosaurs composed of the forearms and elongated fourth finger), from an individual later estimated at over 10 m (33 ft) in wingspan.

When it was first named as a new species in 1975, scientists estimated that the largest Quetzalcoatlus fossils came from an individual with a wingspan as large as 15.9 m (52 ft). Choosing the middle of three extrapolations from the proportions of other pterosaurs gave an estimate of 11 m, 15.5 m, and 21 m, respectively (36 ft, 50.85 ft, 68.9 ft). In 1981, further advanced studies lowered these estimates to 11–12 m (36–39 ft).

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