Pterosaur had a head crest so tall it may have made it hard to fly

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Life 25 August 2021

By Christa Lesté-Lasserre

Tupandactylus navigans

Artist’s rendering of Tupandactylus navigans

Victor Beccari

A 100-million-year-old fossil that was confiscated by Brazilian police during a raid in Sāo Paolo has been identified as one of the strangest pterosaurs ever to have lived, with a 50-centimetre-tall head crest that would have made it difficult for the winged reptile to fly.

Pterosaurs, distant relatives of the dinosaurs, were a very successful and diverse group. The smallest had wingspans of 25 centimetres, while the largest had wingspans of 10 metres. The so-called tapejarid pterosaurs were neither the largest nor the smallest …

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