Fossil of Giant Flying Reptile Found

Newly discovered species had car-sized wingspan
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 4, 2008 5:31 AM CST
Artist's impression of Lacusovagus, a newly discovered species of flying reptile.   (BBC)

(Newser) – Scientists have uncovered a new species of gigantic reptile that flew the skies over Brazil 115 million years ago, the BBC reports. The reptile, by far the largest of its kind ever found, had a wing span of over 16 feet. Lacusovagus—meaning lake wanderer—had a huge jaw, suggesting it tackled especially large prey. It dwarfs similar species found in China.

"The discovery of something like this in Brazil—so far away from its closest relatives in China—demonstrates how little we actually know about the distribution and evolutionary history of this fascinating group of creatures," said the lead researcher. He identified the new species from a squashed skull found in ancient lake sediment.