Klobiodon rochei: New Jurassic-Era Pterosaur Discovered in England
Paleontologists from the University of Portsmouth have discovered the fossilized remains of a new species of ancient flying reptile.
The newfound species, named Klobiodon rochei, belongs to an ancient order of flying creatures known as pterosaurs.
The winged reptile lived approximately 167 million years ago (Middle Jurassic Period) and had a wingspan of 6.5 feet (2 m).
Its fossilized remains came from the Taynton Limestone Formation of Stonesfield, Oxfordshire, England.
“Only the lower jaw of Klobiodon rochei is known, but it has a unique dental configuration that allows it to be distinguished from other pterosaurs,” said University of Portsmouth paleontologists Michael O’Sullivan and David Martill.
Klobiodon rochei had huge, fang-like teeth — up to 1 inch (2.6 cm) long at a time when few pterosaurs had any teeth.
“It was likely a gull or tern-like creature — a coastal flier that caught fish and squid using its enormous teeth, swallowing them whole,” the researchers said.
“Its large fangs would have meshed together to form a toothy cage, from which little could escape once Klobiodon rochei had gotten a hold of it.”
Klobiodon rochei and other Stonesfield pterosaurs lived alongside one of the most famous and important dinosaurs in the world, the predatory Megalosaurus, the first dinosaur ever scientifically described.
But as global sea levels were higher, and the world was much warmer, their Jurassic Britain was a series of large tropical islands.
The discovery was announced in a paper that appeared in the journal Acta Palaeontologica Polonica.
Michael O’Sullivan & David M. Martill. 2018. Pterosauria of the Great Oolite Group (Bathonian, Middle Jurassic) of Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire, England. Acta Palaeontologica Polonica 63 (4): 617-644; doi: 10.4202/app.00490.2018