Seen here looking more like a caricature than something that possibly could have existed, an artist's rendition of the newly discovered Caiuajara dobruskii show of the species' crested heads and bony protrusions in front of their eyes. But were they big enough to ride into battle against rival cavemen? That's the real question.
Varying ages of the newfound species, dubbed Caiuajara dobruskii, fill the rare boneyard, which was once part of a desert lake in the late Cretaceous period, about 100 million to 66 million years ago. With a wingspan of up to 7.7 feet (2.35 meters) C. dobruskii had a head that was shaped differently from those of other pterosaurs, including a bony protrusion in front of its eyes.
The discovery offers the "best evidence ever uncovered" that the extinct dinosaur-era animals, called pterosaurs, may have lived in colonies, said study author Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
It also offers a new window into how the animals--the first vertebrates to fly--developed into adults.
It's unknown why or how the 47 pterosaurs died, but it's possible a desert storm or a drought caused their untimely ends, Kellner said.
Wait, so Michael Jordan's wingspan was 6-feet 9-inches, and these guys had wingspans of about 7-feet 8-inches. So they would be like riding on the back of a slightly larger Michael Jordan. That is a little small for a flying mount if you ask me. Especially considering Quetzalcoatlus northropi, the largest of any known flying reptile, had a wingspan of 40 feet. Now that -- that would be something to strike fear into the hearts of your enemies. Just getting your mount to drop a dump while flying over their village would probably be enough to get them to surrender, plus level several huts.
Thanks to neolardo and Hicup, who agree if Avatar taught us anything about choosing a good flying mount, it's hope the super badass one likes you.