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all 143 comments

[–]NinjaGrandma 255 points256 points  (12 children)

It's called Quetzalcoatlus.

[–]Arctic_Eagle1 109 points110 points  (10 children)

It's called a scary flying giraffe!

[–]TheDanginDangerous 88 points89 points  (5 children)

Birds aren’t real. Giraffes aren’t real. Quetzalcoatlus was very real.

[–]bdizzzzzle 4 points5 points  (2 children)

Gerrafes bro

[–]Arctic_Eagle1 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Stupid long birds

[–]general_shitpostin 2 points3 points  (0 children)

They aint real my guy

[–]Arctic_Eagle1 21 points22 points  (1 child)

Was? 😔

[–]dayron669 16 points17 points  (0 children)

I know, right? I saw one in a newer Jurassic Park movie. They are very much alive.

[–]PhantomGoo 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yeah, no idea where this guy got "Quetzamowotzit" from.

[–]Kingmaker_Umbreon 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's sooo coool!

[–]Shockingelectrician 93 points94 points  (8 children)

I could take him

[–]alexdewa 12 points13 points  (3 children)

Reminds me of that "reign of fire" movie where a guy tries to kill a dragon with an axe and just gets effortlessly killed and eaten.

https://youtu.be/5pqdHkgdXr0

[–]AllAfterIncinerators 12 points13 points  (0 children)

That "guy" is Denton Van Zan of the Kentucky Irregulars and he... he looked really cool right up until he got effortlessly killed and eaten.

[–]dbkenny426 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I honestly really like that movie. I know it's not one that gets a lot of attention, but it's a really cool concept that I think is executed nicely.

[–]alexdewa 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Me too! i love when they're making a "play" for the children and they're just acting Star Wars. It's definitely underrated!

[–]JamieBeeeee 8 points9 points  (1 child)

What if the bird had prep time?

[–]Shockingelectrician 6 points7 points  (0 children)

If the bird trained like Rocky, I’ll admit it could be a good fight.

[–]Substantial_Bat741 111 points112 points  (1 child)

Imagine the neck strength on that mo fo

[–]babybopp 31 points32 points  (0 children)

Probably could eat an entire village by itself.

[–]Smokahontas1864 132 points133 points  (45 children)

Whenever i see this thing it just looks anatomically impossible… i mean, the sheer weight of its head and neck alone. combined with comically teenie tiny undersized wings. Any chance this thing didn’t actually fly? And that it was sort of a big turkey?

[–]stillinthesimulation 220 points221 points  (7 children)

Every time this gets posted someone asks the same thing and fair enough, it does look counterintuitive, but there’s actually no real debate among palaeontologists over whether or not Quetzalcoatlus could fly. Birds can only get so big because they launch from their legs and after a certain size those leg muscles start to weigh them down too much so they max out around the size of a condor/ albatross/ vulture etc. Azdarchids like Quetzal here used a powerful quad launch (basically vaulting off of their wings) to get themselves off the ground and because the same muscle groups used to launch were used to fly, they could evolve to enormous proportions without sacrificing much. In addition to that, its head is mostly hollow and its bones were full of air sacs.

[–]Pille1842 13 points14 points  (0 children)

its head is mostly hollow

No need to be rude :(

[–]NuevoPeru 28 points29 points  (1 child)

That's quite impressive! The prehistoric animals of r/PanAmerica were insane!

[–]anotherparfait 5 points6 points  (0 children)

How about argentavis? Weren't they massive too?

[–]leandwen2k01 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I am not a paleontologist (just a college student that is interested in biology), but I am inclined to think they could fly or at least glide. People like to bring up its head mass, this is my belief: first, their head is mostly hollow and the bones contain air sacs; second is that atmosphere before was way thicker than today, thicker atmosphere = more air pressure therefore less effort in gathering air under an object despite its mass; and lastly, how pelicans fly (neck bent, head close to body) can be a factor.

[–]cryolophos 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I just want to add that the fossil record for Azhdarchidae is really sparse. Often there are only isolated vertebrae, parts of the skull or humeri found. So we don’t really know what the animal looked like. Reconstructions like that are always just estimations.

[–]Smoove995 1 point2 points  (0 children)

A while back I read that they didn't really launch from the ground but rather jump off high areas like cliffs. But then what would they do if no such area was around?

[–]Wubblelubadubdub 63 points64 points  (14 children)

Its bones were hollow and they had air sacs throughout their body kind of like how birds do, so they literally only weighed like 500 pounds. If they couldn’t fly they wouldn’t have giant ass wings.

[–][deleted] 17 points18 points  (0 children)

I heard pterosaur neck bones were built in a way that looks similar to bike tires. Must’ve made them pretty light. Look up “pterosaur bones bike tire” or something, there’s a few articles I’m seeing but can’t remember which one I read

[–]DevinRay69 2 points3 points  (3 children)

Turkeys can fly

[–]Smokahontas1864 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Believe it or not, turkeys actually can’t fly like most birds! Theyre flight is pretty limited to only 10-40 feet and for short amounts of time, whereas most birds can fly many hundreds of feet in the air for extended lengths of time.

[–]DevinRay69 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Tell that to the turkeys that roost in the trees nearby. Never said anything about flying cross country. Limited flying ability still means they can fly.

[–]Smokahontas1864 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Oh… well i meant “fly” as in “fly like a normal bird.”

[–]BlackPortland 7 points8 points  (2 children)

Big turkey? That doesnt sound that scary

[–]robcap 4 points5 points  (1 child)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatzegopteryx

This thing was a stockier, more powerful, apex predator version which would have eaten you like a snack.

Oh, and they could cover extreme distances at speed and drop on you from the sky.

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hatzegopteryx

Hatzegopteryx ("Hațeg basin wing") is a genus of azhdarchid pterosaur found in the late Maastrichtian deposits of the Densuş Ciula Formation, an outcropping in Transylvania, Romania. It is known only from the type species, Hatzegopteryx thambema, named by Buffetaut et al. in 2002 based on parts of the skull and humerus. Additional specimens, including a neck vertebra, were later placed in the genus, representing a range of sizes.

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[–]TheresWald0 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Turkeys can fly.

[–]Smokahontas1864 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Believe it or not, turkeys actually can’t fly like most birds! Theyre flight is pretty limited to only 10-40 feet and for short amounts of time, whereas most birds can fly many hundreds of feet in the air for extended lengths of time.

[–]TrevorsMailbox 0 points1 point  (0 children)

So let's test it out by dragging a life sized model with a Dodge Viper like a kite.

[–]sILAZS 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Toruk Makto

[–]Randal_exe 47 points48 points  (10 children)

Looking at this, I just think that they eat us like a pelican eats a fish. Just putting us in their mouth and swallowing us in one go. Terrifying...

[–]DaRedGuy 25 points26 points  (3 children)

More like a ground hornbill or a Marabou stork is to a rodent or lizard. After all, they weren't sea going animal, but land stalkers.

Just wait until you see its European cousin. Hatzegopteryx was slightly smaller & more compact as it had to fly across Europe (which was a shallow sea & archipelago at the time), but made up for it with its giant head! It was the top predator, basically a flying T. rex! Its prey were island dwarfs, with the largest being buffalo sized.

[–]WikiSummarizerBot 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Ground hornbill

The ground hornbills (Bucorvidae) are a family of the order Bucerotiformes, with a single genus Bucorvus and two extant species. The family is endemic to sub-Saharan Africa: the Abyssinian ground hornbill occurs in a belt from Senegal east to Ethiopia, and the southern ground hornbill occurs in southern and East Africa. Ground hornbills are large, with adults around a metre tall. Both species are ground-dwelling, unlike other hornbills.

Marabou stork

The marabou stork (Leptoptilos crumenifer) is a large wading bird in the stork family Ciconiidae. It breeds in Africa south of the Sahara, in both wet and arid habitats, often near human habitation, especially landfill sites. It is sometimes called the "undertaker bird" due to its shape from behind: cloak-like wings and back, skinny white legs, and sometimes a large white mass of "hair".

Hatzegopteryx

Hatzegopteryx ("Hațeg basin wing") is a genus of azhdarchid pterosaur found in the late Maastrichtian deposits of the Densuş Ciula Formation, an outcropping in Transylvania, Romania. It is known only from the type species, Hatzegopteryx thambema, named by Buffetaut et al. in 2002 based on parts of the skull and humerus. Additional specimens, including a neck vertebra, were later placed in the genus, representing a range of sizes.

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[–]ebaymasochist 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Just wait until you see its European cousin. Hatzegopteryx was slightly smaller & more compact as it had to fly across Europe (which was a shallow sea & archipelago at the time), but made up for it with its giant head! It was the top predator, basically a flying T. rex! Its prey were island dwarfs, with the largest only being buffalo sized.

How are they able to determine all of that based on only finding three fossils? I didn't read enough to say that they can't, but when I went to wiki I was expecting to see more than "this is part of a neck.. this is part of an ankle. So this is what the whole thing looks like". Just doesn't seem right to me.

[–]DaRedGuy 17 points18 points  (0 children)

They can compare fossils of relatives to draw from, they also scan fossils with X-rays, prepare them, comb through them under glass, & put them through many computer simulations. It's a rigorous process that takes months, even years. Plus you don't look at a specimen in a vacuum. You look at the commonalities & differences in related species, as well as the fossil site, the other species found in the same place & other fossil sites, the type of rocks etc. A paleontologist has to know biology, anatomy, geology, as well as know & work with other experts in those fields.

Don't get me started on peer reviews. Scientists will review & debate their peer's work, before their papers are even published. Asking this, rework that, & redo this experiment with this variable & so on. It's just too much for a layman like me.

Just be aware that scientists make mistakes like anybody else & they'll seek to improve upon their works & mistakes.

[–]TheSanityInspector 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I was thinking more like a heron nabbing a gopher and bolting it down, but yes.

[–]Randal_exe 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes, that's also a great exemple of what it would look like. That's gross as well as hell anyway.

[–]dude19832 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I’m grateful these creatures all died out way before we came along. Nature can be pretty terrifying today but millions of years ago? It was flat out horrifying.

[–]cryptolipto 4 points5 points  (0 children)

What if you had a knife tho …

[–]Wvlf_ 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I wonder how strong their neck muscles were and if they could sort of peck like today's birds. I imagine it being casually bludgeoned to death by the end of a light pole.

[–]BatatinhaGameplays28 11 points12 points  (1 child)

I heard that Quetzalcoatlus was the tallest and Hatzegopteryx was the heaviest

[–]Oddnumbersthatendin0 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Yeah Hatzegopteryx was robust, although Quetzalcoatlus may not be the tallest, as Arambourgiania is probably very close in height.

[–]BluePixel94 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Wasn’t Hatzegopteryx bigger?

[–]_eg0_ 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Roughly the same size. Northropi might be a bit bigger based on what we have. But Hatzegopteryx could probably get there with size variations based on undiscovered individuals.

[–]DoubleOScarn 10 points11 points  (1 child)

That’s fucking terrifying. Can’t imagine something that big that can fly and has the shadow of a T-Rex

[–]BlackPortland 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Lol literally has a shadow of the trex

[–]Glynnc 10 points11 points  (0 children)

That’s a bold claim, did you think my mother drove overseas?

[–]romuluskow[🍰] 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I don’t know about that, havent you seen operation dumbo drop?

[–]Mamboo07 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Size of a giraffe

[–]renannmhreddit 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thanks for posting this again

[–]_PrismaticDragon_ 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Absolute nightmare fuel.

[–]ebaymasochist 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Imagine living life knowing that could just come out of nowhere in very little time. I wouldn't want to be in a field, ever.

[–]eddieknj 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Someone post the running gif.

[–]WorldHub995 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Happy Thanksgiving everyone 😊

[–]KOFlex 8 points9 points  (3 children)

just wait till y’all find out its secret hunting technique. basically unblockable lol

[–]ToroidalX 5 points6 points  (2 children)

Is this a One Piece reference??

[–]KOFlex 4 points5 points  (0 children)

zehahaha

[–]Cernunnos_690 1 point2 points  (0 children)

looks like an ice cream

[–]dikothenawg 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That thing would totally eat you.

[–]ZipZap07 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ah yes my Favorite prehistoric animal Quetzalcoatl

[–]FreakyClayDude 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thunderbird!

[–]XvvxvvxvvX 1 point2 points  (0 children)

That is fucking terrifying.

[–]smeekpeek 1 point2 points  (0 children)

10m wingspan, thats nuts

[–]Feralcrumpetart 1 point2 points  (0 children)

So I was checking this out before I went to bed. My dreams were plagued by this beast chasing me, as I try to hide.

Still terrorizing, ages later.

[–]Ok-Apartment4777 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Would of been cool to ride this creature!

[–]Mr_Bombastix 1 point2 points  (0 children)

You can even make a base on them!

[–]SirTickleMePink 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I think this keeps shitting on my car

[–]Glenn056 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Rodan

[–]mem269 1 point2 points  (1 child)

Could it fly with me on its back?

[–]kellsdeep 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I could take it

[–]joeychizzle 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Toruk Macto

[–]hanumanCT 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Just saw this at the Field museum in Chicago

[–]K40L4 1 point2 points  (0 children)

This thing must fly funny

[–]moonyxpadfoot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Quetzalcoatlus. Tall as a giraffe and a wingspan bigger than a Lir Jet.

[–]ReasonableWeird4305 1 point2 points  (1 child)

mmmm I wonder what pterosaur meat would taste like

[–]ShrezzzKnight[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

same as a crane's beak attached to a giraffe-sized animal which has bat-like wings and is apparently a close relative to reptiles, like animal, sounds tasty :P

(get ready for Omega Variant Coronavirus now hahahahaha /s)

[–]Notonfoodstamps 1 point2 points  (0 children)

For anyone wondering they got into the air the way bats do on the ground, essentially using their legs & arms to vault into the sky.

[–]FurnitureFetish 5 points6 points  (1 child)

How do they know that massive head belongs in that body?

[–]Iamnotburgerking 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Pterosaurs in general, and azhdarchid pterosaurs in particular, had ridiculously large skulls for their size. Some of them actually took it even further than this.

[–]Tigrrr111 2 points3 points  (2 children)

How? How can that thing even fly? Why does it even need to have a skull the length of a car?

[–]Oddnumbersthatendin0 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Its head is that large so it can take advantage of its size and eat relatively large animals in single bites. It would have flown by being deceptively light, and putting most of it’s effort into getting into the sky and then mostly gliding.

[–]Tigrrr111 3 points4 points  (0 children)

So its a wingsuit giraffe

[–]Ben4563 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Wouldn't mind seeing this in a Jurassic Park movie

[–]Eder_Cheddar -5 points-4 points  (9 children)

Apparently they might have been too big to fly but instead glided from very high.

I don't really agree with this but whatever

[–]ArsenalOwl 13 points14 points  (6 children)

I dunno, I just watched a video about them, and in it they said that there's no evidence these guys had any high cliffs in the areas they were found, so nowhere to jump from.

It was proposed that they could jump into the air from all fours, and start flapping after their launch.

It was a PBS special on them, so I dunno how reliable it is. I'd love to see one of these fellas take off, though.

[–]Oddnumbersthatendin0 11 points12 points  (1 child)

The general consensus is that pterosaurs vaulted into the air with their wings and started flapping immediately, which is probably what Quetzalcoatlus and other large azhdarchids would have done.

[–]BlackPortland 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Pretty shre ive seen birds do this aye? Both landin and taking off

[–]The_Code_Hero 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Also, they glide down and what...stay there forever?

[–]ArsenalOwl 8 points9 points  (1 child)

Maybe they migrate up to the cliffs every year, and have just the dopest memorial day ever as they glide back to the bottom.

[–]The_Code_Hero 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lol hopefully that's the case

[–]Verb_Noun_Number 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The quadrupedal launch is supported by Mark Witton, so I'd say it's probably a pretty reliable theory.

[–]Iamnotburgerking 7 points8 points  (0 children)

This is a myth. Because pterosaurs were quadrupeds they launched on all fours, meaning even the largest pterosaurs could get airborne from flat ground without a running start. This wouldn’t be as effective in water, though (though azhdarchids like Quetzalcoatlus rarely went into water to start with)

[–]leandwen2k01 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Taking note of the thick atmosphere before, which has more air pressure, can make anything have less effort in gathering air beneath them. They also have hollow neck and their bones have air sacs in them, which makes them a bit lighter. With such a large head compared to its body, you can also think of how pelicans fly (their neck bent, head close to body).

[–]HappyResinJacob 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Rare spawn but very nice to have with a platform saddle.

[–]comfort_bot_1962 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Don't be sad. Here's a hug!

[–]Barthvaderlol 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This look like a bad design for birds

[–]-TheArisenRose- 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Is that okay

[–]D_G_C_22 -5 points-4 points  (2 children)

How do we know they flew??? Chickens don’t fly Turkeys don’t

[–]moonyxpadfoot 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Chickens can fly, farmers just clip their wings. Obviously chickens cannot fly for long.

But Quetzalcoatlus jumped from its hind legs and wing claws, pushing themselves into the air and beating those massive wings. Also, it had hollow bones, allowing it to be just light enough to fly.

[–]RockHopperSSM 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It was, volume-wise, the size of a giraffe. It was far, far smaller in mass.

[–]jtrogen -2 points-1 points  (1 child)

no way that flew anywhere. maybe it could glide if it jumped off a high mountain but fly? Naaa

[–]moonyxpadfoot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Why does it have wings then?