CRUZIERO DO ESTE (BDCi) – A research team digging at a site outside Cruzeiro do Oeste has discovered the fossils of a new pterosaur, the distant flying cousins of the dinosaurs.
The new species has been named Caiuajara dobruskii after local Alexander Dobruski and his son João who discovered the original pterosaur dig site back in 1971.
Evidence uncovered from the bone bed at the site dates back to the late Cretaceous period, suggesting that these pterosaurs lived near tiny lakes in what used to be the surrounding Caiuá Desert.
In addition to gaining some insight into the life cycle of these ancient animals, the discovery also revealed that the flying reptiles took flight soon after birth and that they may have nested together in big social communities.
Drought and desert storms are the top hypotheses for what wiped out these prehistoric lizards, but ongoing excavations will surely yield more answers.