The pterosaur, a dragon-like ancient creature, seems to have been a successful winged animal during its times. It is considered to be the first animal to have engaged in flying. It is not a dinosaur, nor is it a bird though.
The picture is the representation of the family of Azhdarchis by an artist, drawn for a research paper published in journal PLOS One in 2008.
Prehistoric animals might have left us long time back, but ever since we have had the resources, we have been investing great efforts and capital on deciphering the mysteries associated with them. That is how numerous species that have been long gone from this Earth have been documented after tremendous and arduous research works. One of these extraordinary creatures is the pterosaur. The pterosaur is said to have been a large predator, winged reptile that lived in the distant past. A new study has suggested that it has commanded an important niche, occupying the sky for millions of years. The research work has been published in the journal ZooKeys.
The pterosaur forms part of the family Azhdarchidae, which was coined from the word “azdarha”, the latter being the Persian equivalent of “dragon”. It is said to have died out at the same time dinosaurs went extinct 66 million years ago. They grew from being toothed to toothless, according to scientists. The reason as to why their teeth were deleted over time is not yet clear to researchers.
Evolutionists have brought forth the theory that birds are the descendants of dinosaurs. So, accordingly, the pterosaur could not have been an ancient bird itself. Nor was it a dinosaur. It seems to be another kind of creature altogether. It is considered to be the first animals having had the ability to fly, after insects. It might provide much insight into how flight originated in the ancient world. However, its fossils are difficult to find because of the fragility of their bones – the latter have not been preserved as well as those of dinosaurs. The bones of the pterosaur were slim and fragile. The scientists have likened its bones to those of a bird. As a consequence, pterosaur taxonomists have profound difficulty in documenting the animal.
In spite of the tedious work, the scientists behind the new study have managed to find that the pterosaur was likely to be a successful species that established itself in a range of habitats, specially in areas found in the vicinity of large lakes and other water bodies.