The complete skeleton provides a first view of the entire body of Tupandactylus navigans.
The fossil acquired in a police raid turned out to be one of the best-preserved flying reptiles ever, according to a study published August 25, 2021 in the journal Open Access. PLUS ONE Written by Victor Beccari of the University of São Paulo and colleagues.
Tapejaris (one chalky A subgroup of flying reptiles called pterosaurs) are known for their massive crests and are abundant in the fossil record of Brazil, but most Brazilian striped fossils preserve only partial remains. In this study, the researchers describe an exceptional specimen of a strip of tape that encompasses nearly the entire body, most of it intact and even soft tissue remnants along the bone, making it the most complete skeletal structure ever found in Brazil.
This fossil belongs to a type called Tupandactylus navigansAnd it has a dramatic story. They are preserved in six square-cut limestone slabs that were confiscated during a police operation in the port of Santos in São Paulo. It’s already among the collections at the University of São Paulo, where researchers have been able to collect plates and examine the entire fossil, even with a CT scan to reveal the bones hidden within the stone. It is the first time that paleontologists have been able to study more than just the skull of this species.
The description indicates that this species had a foraging lifestyle, due to its long neck and limbs, as well as a large top of its head that could negatively affect long-distance flight. However, the specimen has all the necessary adaptations for powered flight, such as having a notary and a muscular docking area developed in the arm bones. This specimen also has an unusually large crest on its chin, which is part of its already impressive skull decoration. Exactly how all these factors contributed to the flight performance and lifestyle of these animals will be the subject of future research, among many other questions that can be answered by studying this extraordinary fossil.
The authors add: ‘Half of the most complete fossil in Brazil, a partially articulated skeleton Tupandactylus navigans while preserving the soft tissues. This specimen brings new insights into this animal’s anatomy and flight limitations, and calls for a terrestrial foraging environment. “
Reference: “Osteology of an Exceptionally Well-Preserved Brazilian Striped Skeleton: Uncovering the Anatomy of the Curious Pterodactyl Clade” By Victor Beccari, Felipe Lima Pinheiro, Ivan Nunes, Luiz Eduardo Agnelli, Octavio Mateus and Fabiana Rodrigues Costa, August 25, 2021, PLUS ONE.
DOI: 10.1371 / journal.pone.0254789
Funding: FLP is supported by grants from the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq process No. 407969/2017, 305758/2017-9) and the Research Support Foundation of the State of Rio Grande do Sul (FAPERGS Operation No. 16/2551-0000271-1). OM is supported by grants from GeoBioTec-GeoBioSciences, GeoTechnologies, and a new GeoEngineering [GeoBioCiências, GeoTecnologias e GeoEngenharias]UIDB/04035/2020 scholarship by the Foundation for Science and Technology. FRC is supported by the National Council for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq) for support (Process No. 421772/2018-2).
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