Meaning: This pterosaur does not have a formal scientific name yet, so palaeontologists refer to it by its specimen number.
Age: Between 72 and 66 million years old
Where in the world?: Romania’s Haţeg Basin
What sort of critter?: Not a dinosaur, but a pterosaur belonging to a large-bodied subgroup called azhdarchids.
Size: Unknown, but R.2395 is estimated to have had a wingspan of about 10 feet.
How much of the creature’s body is known?: A single neck vertebra.
Claim to fame: Describing a new animal on the basis of a single bone might seem odd, but palaeontologist Mátyás Vremir and colleagues did so because the fossil represents an animal not yet seen in the Cretaceous rock of Romania. The anatomy of the fossil indicates that it’s the fourth neck vertebra from a medium-sized pterosaur, and the bone suggests that this animal had a shorter, thicker neck than other pterosaurs belonging to the same group. While more of the skeleton needs to be found to be sure, this single bone suggests that an unusual pterosaur flew over the heads of Haţeg Island’s dinosaurs.
For more on this discovery, read palaeontologist Mark Witton’s post here.
Vremir, M., Witton, M, Naish, D., Dyke, G., Brusatte, S., Norell, M, Totoianu, R. 2015. A medium-sized robust-necked azhdarchid pterosaur (Pterodactyloidea: Azhdarchidae) from the Maastrichtian of Pui (Haţeg Basin, Transylvania, Romania). American Museum Novitates. 3827: 1-16.