|“||A magnificent pterosaur –– Quetzalcoatlus.||„|
Quetzalcoatlus (name meaning "Mexican Feathered God") is a genus of magnificent pterosaur that originated during the Late Cretaceous period in what is now North America. It was the largest pterosaur ever to have ruled the skies.
Era & DiscoveryEdit
Quetzalcoatlus lived 75–65 million years ago during the Late Cretaceous in North America. Living among other pterosaurs, such as Pteranodon, making it one of the last pterosaur species to exist as well.
The first Quetzalcoatlus fossils were discovered in Texas, United States, from the Maastrichtian Javelina Formation at Big Bend National Park (dated to around 68 million years ago) in 1971 by Douglas A. Lawson, a geology graduate student from the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin.
Quetzalcoatlus was the largest pterosaur ever to have lived in Earths history and thus the largest flying vertebrate of all time, as far as we know, possessing a 43–50 feet (13.2–15.3 m) wingspan and weighing 250 kg. Ergo, it was much larger than any other large pterosaurs, such as the more famous Pteranodon and even Ornithocheirus.
Behavior & TraitsEdit
Quetzalcoatlus also fed on carrion and fish, like all other pterosaurs, but also hunted ammonites, fish and crustaceans in the shallow seas. Additionally, new research by Mark Witton and Darren Naish revealed that they were actually giraffe-shaped, stork-like creatures, terrestrial stalkers that fed on small animals they picked up off the ground.