Pterosaur Tooth XL - 4.09 cm
Pterosaur Tooth XL - 4.09 cm
This specimen is an individual Pterosaur tooth. The tooth measures 4.09 cm in length. It comes from the Kem Kem beds of Morocco and is associated with Coloborhynchus, a Pterosaur from the Early Cretaceous with an estimated wingspan of 5m (15ft).
Please Note: All pterosaur teeth are unique in color and shape. All teeth will show some sign of repair as is to be expected with such a delicate specimen. This tooth will ship in one of our sturdy shipping cartons. A small information card is also included, which serves as the certificate of authenticity.
TEMPORAL RANGE: 228,000,000 to 66,000,000 YEARS AGO
MORE ABOUT PTEROSAURS
"One of these strange animals, whose appearance would be frightful did they occur alive at the present day, may have been of the size of a thrush." ~ Georges Cuvier Théorie de la terre / Essay on the Theory of the Earth (1821)
Spanning more than 160 million years across the fossil record, Pterosaurs were a diverse group of flying reptiles that dominated the skies of the Mesozoic Era. Juveniles of some species were as small as a bat or a modern bird, and others, such as Quetzalcoatlus, were the size of a giraffe with a wingspan topping out at 33ft (10m). Fossil evidence shows that at least some pterosaur species grew furlike "pycnofibers," or bristles, perhaps suggesting that these creatures were warm-blooded.
Pterosaurs have traditionally been roughly divided into two major categories or suborders: the rhamphorynchoids now often called basal pterosaurs, and the more advanced pterodactyloids. Rhamphorynchoids were small, short-necked, and long-tailed, while pterodactyloids were short-tailed, long-necked, longer-forearmed pterosaurs exhibiting a broader size range.
Many Pterosaurs also sported elaborate head crests, which may have reached peak extravagance when pterodactyloids attained their largest size in the Late Cretaceous. Nyctosaurus, a pterodactyloid from the Niobara Formation in North America, had a fantastical skull sporting two long bony rods, which may have been connected by tissue to form a giant fan crest. Similarly, Tupandactylus imperator, found in the Crato Formation in Brazil, wielded a great sail atop its head as well as a keel-like fin on its lower jaw.
📸 Pulmonary air sac system of pterosaurs - Claessens, O'Connor, Unwin (2009).
So, did pterosaurs soar, glide, or were they active flyers?
Many scientists and engineers have tried to recreate their flight dynamics. No one knows for sure, but one study by aerospace engineer Colin Palmer turned up some interesting ideas about the shape of the pterosaurs’ wings. Palmer’s wind tunnel tests suggest that pterosaurs could glide for hours using minimal effort. The tests also indicate that pterosaurs landed using a slow glide to protect their complex wings
By the Late Jurassic Period, birds and pterosaurs overlapped extensively in many ecosystems. Some interpret this to suggest niche partitioning limited direct competition, while other scientists speculate that the decline of smaller pterosaurs coincided with a radiation of comparably sized birds during that interval which could indicate direct competition. This may also explain the larger body sizes seen among Pterosaurs of the Late Cretaceous, a change that may have doomed pterosaurs to extinction.
Front of the Specimen Card
Back of the Specimen Card
Cuvier, Georges, and Robert Jameson. Essay on the Theory of the Earth. W. Blackwood, 1827.
Unwin, David. Pterosaurs: from deep time. Dutton Adult, 2006.
Palmer, Colin. "Flight in slow motion: aerodynamics of the pterosaur wing." Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 278.1713 (2011): 1881-1885.
Veldmeijer, Andre J., Ilja Nieuwland, and Mark Witton. Pterosaurs: Flying Contemporaries of the Dinosaurs. Sidestone Press, 2012.
Witton, Mark P., and Michael B. Habib. "On the size and flight diversity of giant pterosaurs, the use of birds as pterosaur analogues and comments on pterosaur flightlessness." PloS one 5.11 (2010): e13982.
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