The dinosaur’s tail was long and pointed, with wings and outward-pointing teeth.
Scientists have discovered fossil remains of a Jurassic-era dinosaur in Chile’s Atacama Desert.
The flying reptile was part of an early group of pterosaurs, which roamed the earth 160 millions years ago. It was characterized by a pointed tail and wings, as well as sharp, outward-pointing teeth.
Osvaldo Rojas (director of the Atacama Desert Museum of Natural History and Culture), discovered the fossil remains of the beast and they were then further examined by scientists from the University of Chile.
Acta Palaeontologica Polonica published details of the discovery. This was the first time such creatures were linked to the Southern Hemisphere.
Jhonatan alarcon, a University of Chile scientist, said that this showed the spread of animals in the group was more extensive than was previously known.
This discovery suggests that there may have been close ties between the northern and the southern hemispheres. It also points to possible migration at a time in which most of the world’s southerly land mass were believed to be connected by a supercontinent called Gondwana.
Alarcon stated that there are also pterosaurs from this group in Cuba. These animals were likely coastal animals so it is possible they have moved between the North-South or perhaps they arrived once and stayed.
The vast Atacama Desert in Chile, once submerged under the Pacific Ocean, has been transformed into a moonscape of sandstone.
This region, which has not seen rain in some parts for decades, is a hot spot to find fossils. Many remains remain undiscovered in remote locations below the desert surface.