A new study by Katie Prentice, done as part of her undergraduate degree at the University of Bristol shows that pterosaurs evolved the most unusual way, they became more and more developed through 160 million years on Earth.
"Usually, when a new group of animals or plants growing, they quickly" sorted out "all possible existence and quickly adapt to new. When we carried out this study, we thought that pterosaurs went Wherefore way. "Pterosaurs were the first flying animals. But surprisingly, they practically ceased to develop after the first birds.
Studies were carried out on the remains of 50 different pterosaurs, which ranged in size from large to thrush, the largest of them, Quetzalcoatlus, with a wingspan of 12 meters, four times as many of the largest birds of today, the albatross.
New research shows that pterosaurs remained unchanged for 70 million years, and then began a big change with all kinds of flying novimi. From the remains were found mutated pterosaur skull, such findings suggest, the adaptation to the new conditions of birds including in nutrition; some of them were large carnivores, many ate fish, and then they even lost their zuby.Ostalnye parts of the body also showed surprising differences between the various groups, taking into account that the body needs to maintain many features without losing the opportunity to fly.
"Pterosaurs were at the peak of his success about 125 million years ago, just as the birds become very diverse," said Dr. Marcello Ruta.
Pterosaurs umenshaetsya in size and disappeared 65 million years ago during a mass extinction of animals.