Dinosaur Pterosaur Caiuajara dobruskii Discovered in Mass Grave
That crest tho...
A new species of dinosaur has been discovered in Brazil in what is essentially a mass dinosaur graveyard. 47 skeletons of the pterosaur dubbed Caiuajara dobruskii were found at the site. Hey scientists, are you guys sure you put the bones back together right? That head crest is bonkers.
The boneyard was discovered near Cruzeiro do Oeste in southern Brazil, and the specimens date back to the early Cretaceous. The skeletons varied in age, and scientists can get a lot of information out of that. They can see that these animals probably lived communally and could fly at an early age. They also saw that it’s head crest is mighty, so I’m speculating Caiuajara dobruskii turned in flight the same way as The Rocketeer.
It’s not clear yet what (or who! perhaps… murder!) killed these dinosaurs, but Paulo Manzig from Universidade do Contestado, Brazil, who led the study, said there are many similarities to drought-related mortality. He also suggests the possibility of a desert storm. I’m not ready ready to rule out foul play, though.
[Update: Thanks to Ed Yong for pointing this out on Twitter, but yes, Caiuajara dobruskii is a pterosaur, arguably a distinction worth making.]
(via PLOS One, image via Maurilio Oliveira/Museu Nacional-UFRJ)
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