Reconstruction of Possible Former Pterosaur (http://thurj.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/111014-pterosaur-hmed-1136a.grid-5x21.jpg)

It’s the middle of midterm season, so my favorite topic right now is dinosaurs. My favorite type of dinosaur is actually the velociraptor, but since I couldn’t find any articles on that, I had to make do with the pterosaur.
Boy these dinosaurs were huge. Their wingspan stretched about 7 meters (23 feet). Toothless pterosaurs could have wingspans of up to 10 meters. Even Michael Phelps’ massive armspan can’t beat that.
How did scientists actually figure out they were so large? From two tiny pieces of evidence: 1) the tip of the upper jaw (premaxillae for you anatomy nerds) and 2) a broken tooth in a socket from a creature called Coloborhynchus capito. This is a type of ornithocheirid. Although only 13 millimeters, the tooth’s relation to the rest of the body allows the calculations to reveal the final proportions of the actual creature, with its enormous wingspan. But are these proportions always upheld?
In any case, I wouldn’t want to bump into one of these on my way to the Science Center in the mornings.
See http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/44906871/ns/technology_and_science-science/#.TpnX8HKj9kg for details

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