Hatzegopteryx

Name: Hatzegopteryx (Hatzeg Wing).
Phonetic: Hat-zeh-gop-teh-rix.
Named By: Eric Buffetaut, Dan Grigorescu & Zoltan Csiki - 2002.
Classification: Chordata, Reptilia, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Azhdarchidae.
Species: H. thambema (type).
Type: Carnivore.
Size: Estimated twelve meter wingspan.
Known locations: Romania, Transylvania, Hatzeg Basin.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: Skull fragments and partial post cranial remains.

       Unfortunately very little fossil material for this pterosaur exists, but the post cranial remains of Hatzegopteryx do bare striking similarities to Quetzalcoatlus, even to point that some consider Hatzegopteryx to be a possible synonym of Quetzalcoatlus. There still is one subtle area of known difference, and this is the way that the jaws articulate on Hatzegopteryx. Greater study of both species is required for this matter to be cleared up completely.
       The remains of Hatzegopteryx were recovered from an area that in the Cretaceous was known as Hatzeg Island, one that was separated from mainland Europe. When an island, many species of animal including dinosaurs grew smaller in what is termed insular dwarfism. Assuming that Hatzegopteryx was not just passing through when it died, it would seem unusual that such a large creature would be living in a location where others were getting smaller, although as a flyer, Hatzegopteryx would have had the option of seeking out new feeding areas from this location. Also as an azhdarchid, it may have fed like a stork as has been proposed for other members of this group, eating small animals and fish which would still be abundant on a small land mass.



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