New species of pterosaur found in Texas

Published on April 29th, 2010 | by Sevaan Franks

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A new species of winged reptile has been found outside of Dallas.

The recently discovered pterosaur, dubbed Aetodactylus halli, was identified based on a 95-million-year-old lower jawbone found outside of Dallas by amateur fossil hunter Lance Hall.

The pterosaur had a relatively slender jaw filled with thin, needlelike teeth, which might have helped the creature pluck fish from the shallow sea that once covered the region, a new study says.

"It was hanging out near the ocean, and that is probably where it derived its food from," said study leader Timothy Myers, a paleontologist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas.

By comparing the jawbone to more complete pterosaur fossils, Myers and his team think A. halli was a medium-size animal with a nine-foot (three-meter) wingspan and a short tail.

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