Flying Reptile

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

Naturalis Biodiversity Center

This flying reptile lived between the Triassic and Chalk periods (around 250-65 million years ago). Its generic name is a tribute to the American film director Steven Spielberg. This is not a flying dinosaur. Dinosaurs only lived on land (not in the sea or in the air). Its wings were covered with hair and ran from the extended fourth finger to the thigh. These were warm-blooded animals, varying in size from several decimetres to as much as twelve metres. We aren’t sure whether this animal could lift itself from the ground (like birds) or whether it glided from mountains like a paraglider. On the ground, it moved rather awkwardly. From the teeth we can see that it was a fish eater.

This fossil comes from Santana in South America, a place where many fossils have been found. It was bought as a large stone (concretion) containing bones. In Leiden Academic Hospital, an X-ray was taken to make the bones visible. A specialist in Germany prepared the bones: the yellow-brown parts are real, the white-grey parts are imitations.

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  • Title: Flying Reptile
  • Rights: Photo's by Sabine Verdoorn / Naturalis Biodiversity Center / CC-BY 4.0
  • Wetenschappelijke naam: Coloborhynchus spielbergi
  • Tijdperk: Triassic (250 million years ago.) - Cretaceous (about 65 million years ago)
  • Registratienummer : NNP.008037
  • Meer informatie: http://www.natuurinformatie.nl/nnm.dossiers/natuurdatabase.nl/i000593.html
  • Lengte: Wingspan: 6 m.
  • Klasse: Reptile
  • Gewicht: to 12 kg.
  • Eetgewoontes: Fish