LARGEST CREATURE TO EVER FLY? PTEROSAUR QUETZALCOATLUS WAS ONE SCARY DINOSAUR
So humans keep making more amazing dinosaur discoveries seemingly every day. And while this one isn’t a new or larger T-Rex or one of its cousins, in some ways it scares me even more. Its name is the pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus, and it may be the largest animal to ever fly on planet Earth. Like, ever. It had a wingspan as wide as 40 feet! For the metrics out there, that’s 12 meters. If that sounds large, have another look at that picture above and think about the scale involved. This creature is so large, it’s taken scientists half a century to even figure out how it could fly!
MYSTERY SOLVED! PTEROSAUR QUETZALCOATLUS HAD TO JUMP 8 FEET HIGH TO TAKE OFF
The new findings came out this past week in the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology. As the decades went by with the how does it fly mystery, researchers at the University of Texas in Austin at last realized how this creature could get up in the air. It had to jump! And going back to matters of scale, that may have been the problem for researchers. How high? Is usually the punchline to an old joke. But here, it was the answer to a lasting dinosaur mystery. The Pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus jumped 8 feet straight up into the air to start flight. 8 feet!
HUNTING PTEROSAUR QUETZALCOATLUS WAS LIKE A GIANT BLUE HERON IN ANCIENT TIMES
So here’s where I explain why this dinosaur scares me even more than a T-Rex or even a velociraptor. The fossils were originally discovered in Texas as well. Back when the Pterosaur Quetzalcoatlus flew the local skies, Texas was host to many large bodies of water. And this giant flyer lived and hunted along the water’s edge in a giant, forest oasis. And it makes me shudder, but they likely hunted (GIANT) crabs and worms. So why scarier to me? Because I’ve often wondered what the dinosaur version of today’s blue heron would be like.
And now I know. And it’s scary.