Flying reptiles

Cearadactylus - flying reptile

Cearadactilus is a genus of large flying reptiles that lived in what is now South America during the early Cretaceous Period, about 146 million years ago. Its only known species, Cearadactilus Atrox, was discovered in Brazil in 1983.

Cearadactilus' name refers to the Brazilian state Ceara, combining it with Greek 'dactilos' meaning finger, a reference to the 'wing- finger' of the early flying reptile. The Latin word 'atrox' means frightful, a reference to the fearsome dentition of this bird-like species.

In view of the fact that its fossil remains comprised not more than a single 57- cm long skull, the overall outward appearance of this prehistoric animal is largely guesswork. The wingspan of Cearadactilus is estimated to have been around 5.5 m, and its weight ranging at 15 kg. Its long, slender beak, kinked upper jaw, and interlocking teeth suggest a fish diet, allowing the creature to keep hold of slippery fish.

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