Cape Town – Scientists have discovered three new species of flying reptiles that lived in the Moroccan Sahara over 100 million years ago, according to British daily newspaper, The Guardian.
The discovery was made by Portsmouth University palaeontologist, professor David Martill along with a team of researchers from Morocco and the United States.
The discovery confirms the existence of a community of pterosaurs that inhabited pre-historic Morocco.
Published in the scientific journal Cretaceous Research, the study is helping to uncover the poorly-known evolutionary history of Africa during the time of the dinosaurs.
According to a university spokeswoman quoted by The Guardian, the new finds showed that African pterosaurs were “quite similar” to those found on other continents.
According to Science Daily, the pterosaurs, which soared above a world dominated by predators, formed part of an ancient river ecosystem in Africa that was full of life including fish, crocodiles, turtles and several predatory dinosaurs.
British publication The Independent reported that the new pterosaurs were identified from chunks of jaws and teeth found in the middle cretaceous Kem Kem Beds of Morocco and had wingspans of three to four metres.
Professor Martill said that scientists were in a golden age for discovering pterodactyls, adding that this year alone they had already discovered three new species.
African News Agency (ANA)