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Quetzalcoatlus: The Flying Giant

The Quetzalcoatlus is the biggest flying creature of the late cretaceous period. It is not a dinosaur, it is actually a pterosaur, which was a group of flying reptiles. Its wings were 40 feet wide.

Quetzalcoatlus had a crest, long neck, and a long sharp beak. Some scientists think that the Quetzalcoatlus looked through the sand with its sharp beak to find crabs and worms, others think they hunted for fish along the water. It lived about 70 million years ago in North America, around where Texas is now.

Archaeologists found the first fossil of the Quetzalcoatlus in 1975, and it took them years to realize that such a big reptile could fly. Quetzalcoatlus started to fly by launching itself eight feet in the air, because its muscles were able to push it up, and its light bones helped it fly.

The Quetzalcoatlus had two species. The large species hunted alone, while the small species hunted in packs. Scientists found 30 small Quetzalcoatlus in one spot. Their bones were fragile and were harder to dig up.

“You have these potato-chip-like bones preserved in very hard rock, and you`ve got to remove the bones from the rock without destroying them,’’ said Matthew Brown, an archaeologist at the University of Texas in Austin.

Studying the Quetzalcoath’s fossils offers a great learning opportunity to learn about the past and the creatures that existed millions of years ago.

[Source: CNN]

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