Many Flying Reptiles Were Carnivorous


BBC News: “Fossil Reveals Oldest Live Birth” A fossilized fish—allegedly 380 million years old—is pushing back evolutionists’ estimations of when animals gave birth to live young.

Previously, paleontologists hypothesized that pterosaurs—who are often mistakenly thought of as “flying dinosaurs”—scooped fish straight from the water as they flew, much as do gulls. But researcher Darren Naish of the University of Portsmouth explains, “All the details of their anatomy, and the environment their fossils are found in, show that they made their living by walking around, reaching down to grab and pick up animals and other prey.”

"That’s all being done on the ground rather than in the air.”

Naish’s colleague Mark Witton adds, “We think the majority of their lives, when they’re feeding and reproducing, that’s all being done on the ground rather than in the air.” The two suggest that flight was simply a method of getting “from point A to point B.”

So why the shift in thinking? Naish and Witton analyzed the fossils of azhdarchids, a group of large, toothless pterosaurs. One of these, the Quetzalcoatlus, weighed some 550 pounds (250kg), stood as tall as a giraffe, and had a wingspan of more than 30 feet (10m)! In their analysis, the researchers discovered that more than half of the fossils had been found inland, and determined that the azhdarchids lacked the skeletal features of a “mud-prober” or “skim-feeder”.

For instance, azhdarchids had long hind limbs, stiff necks, and tiny feet that would not have held up well while skimming the water for food or standing in soft mud searching for food. Thus, the scientists conclude that azhdarchids must have stayed away from water and instead stalked landlubber dinosaurs—including perhaps velociraptors and infant T. rexes.

Although pterosaurs are very likely extinct today, it is fascinating to think of the size and capabilities of these beasts of the air—and the testimony they provide to their Creator, who presumably created the azhdarchids to land and eat plants.

Remember, if you see a news story that might merit some attention, let us know about it! (Note: if the story originates from the Associated Press, Fox News, MSNBC, the New York Times, or another major national media outlet, we will most likely have already heard about it.) And thanks to all of our readers who have submitted great news tips to us.

(Please note that links will take you directly to the source. Answers in Genesis is not responsible for content on the websites to which we refer. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.)


Get the latest answers emailed to you or sign up for our free print newsletter.

I agree to the current Privacy Policy.

Answers in Genesis is an apologetics ministry, dedicated to helping Christians defend their faith and proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Learn more

  • Customer Service 800.778.3390