An artist’s impression of the pterosaur Tupandactylus navigans. A fossil of this type was seized during a raid.
This is what a research team led by Victor Beccari from the University of São Paulo reports in the specialist magazine “Plos One”.
The fossil of the species Tupandactylus navigans is embedded in six limestone slabs. It was seized during a raid in Santos, one of the largest ports in Brazil – along with many other well-preserved fossils. The researchers put the plates together and examined the animal using computed tomography, among other things.
The analysis suggests that although the species had certain prerequisites for flying, it was more likely to move on the ground due to the long neck and the proportions of the limbs, as well as a large head crest.
Time and again, parts of pterosaurs are found in Brazil and new species are discovered. Significant fossil deposits are the Araripe Basin in the north-west of the country, where the confiscated specimen comes from, and the Paraná Basin in the south.
Repeatedly, fossils were seized in raids that were intended for the multi-million dollar illegal trade. In April, the Brazilian public prosecutor obtained that France must return around 1,000 objects that had been smuggled into Europe in containers from the northwestern state of Ceará without a permit.