The mystery is this: how did azhdarchid pterosaurs manage to fly when they had astonishingly long necks and absurdly long heads? Paleontologists are on the case. Here’s more from Science Focus:
Fortunately, a new study may have solved the puzzle. While researchers previously presumed the bones in the lizard’s neck had a simple tube-within-a-tube structure, CT scans of pterosaur bones revealed their vertebrae had a unique internal construction mirroring the spokes of a bicycle wheel.
This strong and lightweight network of trabeculae explains how the pterosaurs could fly and move their massive 1.5m-long heads without snapping their necks (which are described as “ridiculously long” by study first author Cariad Williams, PhD student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaig).
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