New 'iron dragon' pterosaur found in Australia
The exquisitely preserved remains make up the most complete flying reptile yet discovered on the continent.
One fall day in 2017, Bob Elliott had just finished spraying for weeds on Australia’s Belmont ranch when he noticed something unusual poking through the silty ground: a handful of mottled brown bones. The ranch, which Elliott co-owns and manages, previously yielded remains of the long-necked dinosaurs known as sauropods. But in comparison to bones from those living skyscrapers, the newfound fossils were downright small.
“He knew straightaway this was quite different ... and unlike anything that we’d seen before,” says Adele Pentland, a research associate with the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Natural History Museum in Winton, Queensland. Further study from Pentland and her colleagues confirmed that the fossil bones Elliott found came from a flying reptile known as