The largest dinosaur on earth could fly

Cryodrakon boreas - giant pterosaur fromgroups of azhdarchid dinosaurs was a huge creature with a ten-meter wingspan. The pterosaur inhabited the Cretaceous and completely died out as a species about 65 million years ago. Can a unique pterosaur really be considered the largest winged dinosaur on the planet?

The wingspan of a giant pterosaur could reach ten meters

Could dinosaurs fly?

Despite its impressive size, comparablewith a modern F-16 fighter, the Azhdarchids were very similar to modern storks and lived near small streams, where they could freely hunt small vertebrates. According to studies, the weight of some pterosaurs could reach 540 kilograms, which, theoretically, should have turned them into terrestrial creatures. However, in reality, the Azhdarchids could use the slopes on the banks of the river valleys as a kind of landing pad from which the pterosaurs could plan in search of prey.

One of the representatives of the group of azhdarchid dinosaurs

To finally land afterfruitful (or not so) hunting, Cryodrakon boreas was forced to flap hard for a more or less successful landing, after which he fell heavily to the ground and tried to get on all fours. Despite its extreme clumsiness, the giant pterosaur is rightfully considered one of the most perfect prehistoric creatures, since it became one of the first species on the planet to successfully master the flight.

See also: China - the birthplace of flying dinosaurs

The closest brother of Azhdarchid Cryodrakon boreasQuetzalcoatl pterosaur is considered, which was named after the giant feathered serpent from the beliefs of the ancient Mayan Indians. The pterosaur, which was similar in size to a modern giraffe, also had a well-developed ability to fly, and some individuals could even easily overcome oceanic distances. Most likely, the weight of Quetzalcoatl reached 250 kilograms, which made him one of the largest flying pterosaurs of the Cretaceous period.

It seems that we are very lucky that today a maximum sparrow or dove can fly into our apartment window, and not a 250-kilogram predatory creature from the Cretaceous period

In any case, the researchers believe that anddiscovered by Cryodrakon boreas, and Quetzalcoatl first appeared on our planet about 230 million years ago and descended from reptiles well adapted for jumping and running. The relationship between the two species is evidenced by the fact that the found remains of the limbs of pterosaurs bear great resemblance to the paws of modern reptiles.

If you liked this article, I invite you to join our channel on Yandex.Zen, where you can find even more news from popular science and technology.