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Re: Quetzalcoatlus



Steinar wrote:
>
>I just read a small article in Time magasine from 1975. There was this
>palaentology student named Douglas Lawson that found a Pterosauria in 
>Texas which he found some distance away from any ocean. The wingspan 
was
>about 16,7 m and if my memory serves me correctly the only pterosaurs
>around that time were with a wingspan of about 7,5 m (although now I 
>have heard about 10-11 m). The amusing thing was that the structure of
>this creature was very similar to a jet, namely McDonnel Douglas F-15A.
>I presume this is/was a new group? Have there been found any more such
>specimen?


Larson got out of paleontology and was last seen working for the 
petroleum industry.  The giant pterosaur was name Quetzalcoatlus 
northropi, but has never been described in detail. Another smaller 
species is also known, but remains unnamed.  Wann Langston has been 
planning a monograph on the besats, but let's say that the next 
continental ice sheet will cover North America before we seen it.  

The size of Quetzalcoatlus has been down sized since the original 
Science article to around 10.5 m.  There are specimens of Pteranodon 
that easily approach that size (notably the holotype of P. sternbergi). 
There has been a mistake in the literature of assigning all large Upper 
Cretaceous pterosaurs from terrestrial deposits as Quetzalcoatlus.  
Kevin Padian has just named a new species from the Two Medicine Fm. 
based on the arm he and Matt Smith described in JVP.  I forget the name.