7 jul. 2019
Quetzalcoatlus is the largest species of pterosaur that ever lived on our planet. There are still many mysteries about its habits and capabilities: was it able to fly and what did it feed on? Its wingspan was enormous, reaching to at least 11 meters, which would make it the size of a small airplane. It lived during the Late Cretaceous period of North America where it probably soared over great plains looking for food, like carrion or maybe even small dinosaurs. Quetzalcoatlus was capable of walking on four feet, so it was able hunt on the ground, like some bird-of-prey do nowadays.
There’s just a single species known to the genus Quetzalcoatlus. A few fragmentary individuals were initially found in 1971 in Texas (USA), but more fossils were discovered in the famous Hell Creek Formation in 2002. The species was abundant in its time.
11.0 m wingpan
Kubo, T. (2011). Estimating body weight from footprints: application to pterosaurs. Palaeogeography, Palaeoclimatology, Palaeoecology, 299(1-2), 197-199.