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Latest Mark Witton Stories

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2010-11-16 06:15:00

A new study finds that ancient pterosaurs took flight by "pole-vaulting" using all four of their limbs. The winged reptiles vaulted over their wings, initially pushing off with their hind limbs and then thrusting themselves upwards with their strong arm muscles, the researchers said. Pterosaurs roamed the Earth at the same time as the dinosaurs, existing from about 220 million to 65 million years ago from the Triassic Period until the end of the Cretaceous.  The study's findings...

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2008-12-04 11:45:00

Scientist have uncovered a new fossil species of flying reptile with the wingspan the size of a family car.The fossil has been identified as a new type of pterosaur, by a researcher at the University of Portsmouth, and it's the largest of its kind to ever be discovered.Scientists suggest that it would have flown in the skies above Brazil 115 million years ago.The wingspan is estimated by Mark Witton to be 16.4ft and would have been more than 39in tall at the shoulder.The partial skull fossil,...

2008-06-29 06:02:09

By Perkins, Sid Most fossils of pterosaurs, flying reptiles that soared the skies while dinosaurs strolled below, have been found in marine sediments. Scientists thought the creatures spent a lot of time flying over the seas, possibly snatching fish from the water, says Mark Witton, a vertebrate paleontologist at the University of Portsmouth in England. After studying fossils, Witton and colleague Darren Naish suggest a different lifestyle for a group of large pterosaurs called azhdarchids....


Word of the Day
vermicular
  • Like a worm in form or movement; vermiform; tortuous or sinuous; also, writhing or wriggling.
  • Like the track or trace of a worm; appearing as if worm-eaten; vermiculate.
  • Marked with fine, close-set, wavy or tortuous lines of color; vermiculated.
  • A form of rusticated masonry which is so wrought as to appear thickly indented with worm-tracks.
This word ultimately comes from the Latin 'vermis,' worm.
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