Remember the first Jurassic Park?* The team flies into T. rex town on a helicopter, beautiful music swells, and we all went “whoa,” looking down on the massive herds of dinosaurs stampeding across the open plains of the island. But they could have made it even more impressive.
They could have looked up.
To me, the idea of something as big as a biplane with jaws is infinitely more impressive and terrifying than packs of raptors. (Though I would stand about an equal chance of surviving an encounter with either.**)
|This photo gives you an idea of Quetzalcoatlus’ massive size.
Photo: Montezuma’s Revenge by mugley on Flickr.
Can you imagine if something this big flew today? Unreal.
Here are a few things you might not know about Quetzalcoatlus, the Texas Pterosaur:
1. This species of Pterosaur was discovered in Big Bend National Park.
2. It’s named for the Aztec deity Quetzalcoatl – who took the form of a feathered serpent.
3. In the entire history of the world, it is one of the largest animals to have ever flown.
4. You can see one in person, when we assemble our new Quetzalcoatlus cast in the Grand Hall this Friday at 10 am! It’s a sneak peek at this pterosaur, which will be on display in the new Paleontology Hall in 2012!
*You’re reading a science museum blog. Of course you do.
**As it turns out, it is thought that Quetzalcoatlus used its large toothless beak to eat shellfish and arthropods or carrion – similar to a stork. Still: that’s one super scary stork.