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viernes, 16 de julio de 2010

The Arambourgiania

The Arambourgiania

Arambourgiania


Image copyright Joe Tucciarone

Arambourgiania is a creature, which belongs to the category of pterosaur and it is known to have lived in the late cretaceous era. It is regarded as one among the largest member of the family of pterosaurs.

During the initial forties, a two feet long fossil bone of Arambourgiania was found on the Amman-Damascus railway line near Ruseifa. Later in the year 1943, it was taken to the attention of British archeologists.

Later in the year 1953, the fossil was transmitted to a museum at Paris and was inspected by Camille Arambourg. In the year 1954, Camille Arambourg came to a conclusion that the fossil was the wing metacarpal of Arambourgiania. In the year 1959 he named a new species and genus called Titanopteryx philadelphiae. The meaning of this term is titan wing and this was derived from a Greek word. In 1975, another researcher named Douglas Lawon came to a conclusion that the fossil was not metacarpal, but it was cervical vertebra.

In the eighties another Paleontologist from Russia named Lev Nesov found that there is already a creature in the name Titanopteryx philadelphiae and so, in the year 1987, he renamed the creature as Arambourgiania to honor the first researcher Camille Arambourg. Even though, the name was changed, the pterosaur was informally called by the old name itself.

After that in the year 1995, two researchers, Eberhard Frey and David Matrill travelled to Jordan, where the fossils of Arambourgiania was initially found, to find whether they will be able to get further information on this species. But, they were not able to find any further fossils. The initially found fossil is presently available at the University of Jordan and two researchers named Frey and Martill are making further study on the fossil.

The fossil consists of a stretched out cervical vertebra. Initially, when the fossil was found it was about 62 centimeters long, but later it was cut into three parts. At present, the middle section of the fossil is missing. Most of the fossil consists of an interior mould or infilling and in most of the surfaces, the thin bone walls are known to be missing. The whole vertebra was also not found and in its latter end a small piece was also missing.

Since many parts of the fossils are missing, the researchers were able to judge the size and other features of Arambourgiania, only on the basis of another creature of the same family called Quetzolcoatlus. From this, they estimated that the total length of the Arambourgiania would have been around 78 centimeters. They also estimated that the length of the neck would have been around three meters. They made all the calculations only on the basis of the size of Quetzolcoatlus and they decided it to be in 1:18 ratio. On this basis, they concluded that its wingspan would have been twelve to thirteen meters long.

Arambourgiania is classified under the kingdom of Animalia , under chordate phylum, suropsida class, pterosauria order and pterodactyloidea suborder. It is also classified under the family of Azhdarchidae.

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