Phosphatodraco

Name: Phosphatodraco ‭(‬Phosphate dragon‭)‬.
Phonetic: Fos-fate-oh-dray-ko.
Named By: Pereda-Suberbiola et al.‭ ‬-‭ ‬2003.
Classification: Chordata,‭ ‬Reptilia,‭ ‬Pterosauria,‭ ‬Pterodactyloidea,‭ ‬Azhdarchidae.
Species: P.‭ ‬mauritanicus‭ (‬type‭)‬.
Type: Carnivore/Piscivore.
Size: Estimated‭ ‬5‭ ‬meter wingspan.
Known locations: Morocco,‭ ‬Khouribga,‭ ‬Grand Doui‭ ‬-‭ ‬Oulad Abdoun Phosphatic Basin.
Time period: Maastrichtian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: 5‭ ‬cervical‭ (‬neck‭) ‬vertebrae,‭ ‬and an unknown bone.

       Five neck vertebrae may not be much to go on when describing a pterosaur,‭ ‬but the elongated vertebra of Phosphatodraco are a signature feature of the azdarchid group of pterosaurs.‭ ‬The vertebra of Phosphatodraco are also quite unique in themselves by being elongated at the base as well as higher up and also revealing the presence of neural spines.‭ ‬These caudal vertebrae have been speculated to have been modified dorsal vertebra from the back,‭ ‬and would have served to extend the characteristically long azdarchid neck even further.‭ ‬This would have allowed Phosphatodraco to move its head over a larger area while hunting without the need for re-positioning its body so often.



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