Thursday, December 13, 2012

Sordes

Sordes pilosus
Meet Sordes, a small Pterosaur that flew around during the Late Jurassic-- 150 million years ago. It had a wingspan of around 1.5-2ft (so far from the gigantic Pterosaurs we see in pop-culture), and most likely ate small amphibians and insects.

The name Sordes refers to the genus, and it actually derives from a Greek word for devil. The actual species name, pilosus, means "hairy"... but we'll get to that in a second.

Sordes caused quite the ruckus when it was first discovered in Kazakhstan back in the late 1960s. You see, the fossils of these creatures showed that they had small hairs covering their bodies! This was the very first time that proof was given for Pterosaurs having hair. The presence of this body covering gives weight to the theory that Sordes was actually warm-blooded, rather than cold-blooded like many other Reptiles.

Status : Extinct for 150 million years
Location : Central Asia
Size : Wingspan up to 1.5ft (45cm)
Classification : Phylum : Chordata -- Class : Reptilia -- Order : Pterosauria
Family : Rhamphorhynchidae -- Genus : Sordes -- Species : S. pilosus

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