Quetzalcoatlus

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Quetzalcoatlus

Quetzalcoatlus (Kwet-zal-co-at-las), feathered Serpent, lived in the Late Cretaceous of North America at the end of the Mesozoic. Azhdarchids were the most common pterosaurs and they were good at being gigantic. A smaller azhdarchid, not yet described, shared the American southwest with the giant Quetzalcoatlus northropi. All pterosaurs had become extinct by the end of the period.


Content List

1. Genera & species

2. Characteristics

a. Size

b. Behavior

3. History of Discovery

4. Paleoenvironment

5. References



Genera and Species

Classification: Pterosauria, Monofenestra, Pterodactyloidean, Ornithocheiroidea, Lophocratia, Azhdarchoidea, Neoazhdarchia, Azhdarchidae

Species: Q. northropi

Synonyms: Hatzegopteryx


Characteristics

Quetzalcoatlus was as tall as a giraffe and weighed about the same as large pig. The neck was long, and the body and skull were covered with pterosaur fuzz. The toothless beak was sharp, and the skull had a crest. The limb proportions were similar to those of grazing mammals, so it was able to move on the ground quickly (Witton, 2013).


Size

WING LENGTH: 10.5 m.

WEIGHT: 200 lbs.


Behavior

It was a strong flyer and hunted in flocks for medium-size tetrapods and scavenged larger animals. It has been compared to the Marabou stork, stalking the savanna for smaller animals. History of Discovery

It was discovered in 1971, by Lawson. Quetzalcoatlus-like fossils have been found in France, Montana and Alberta but all are very incomplete, leaving us with large animals but few details as to their actual makeup (Dixon, 2006).


Paleoenvironment

Found in North America and Europe. It lived in the continental interiors.


References

1. Witton, M. (2013). Pterosaurs: Natural History, Evolution, Anatomy. Princeton New Jersey: Princeton University Press.

2. Dixon, D. (2006). The Complete Book of Dinosaurs. London UK: Hermes House.

3. Plesiosauria. (2012, February 27). Quetzalcoatlus.

4. Knol, R. (2010, February 5). Hanson Formation. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.dinosaurcollectorsitea.com/Pre_air.html.