[2008.05.31] Storking the ancient skies 巨鹳行空


Storking the ancient skies

May 29th 2008
From The Economist  print edition

This is an artist’s impression of a flying reptile called Quetzalcoatlus eating a small dinosaur. Until recently, Quetzalcoatlus and its relations were thought to have hunted fish from the sea. But a re-analysis of their skeletons, published in the Public Library of Science by Mark Witton (who is also the artist in question) and Darren Naish, both of Portsmouth University, in England, suggests they were more like giant storks. Rather than skimming the sea, they plucked their prey from the ground. At five or six metres high, Quetzalcoatlus could easily have eaten young dinosaurs. Or young humans, had they been around 65m years ago.

这是一幅艺术家为羽蛇龙这种飞行爬虫所绘制的想象图。图中它正在捕食一只小型恐龙。不久之前 羽蛇龙和它的亲戚们还被认为是在海中捕鱼的猛兽,而经过最近对其骨架的再次分析,英国朴姿茅斯大学的Mark Witton(也是题图的作者)和Darren Naish在《公共科学图书馆》上发表文章认为它们更貌似一群巨鹳。而且它们是从地面捕食而非潜海猎杀。凭借5到6米的身高,吞食年幼恐龙对他们简直如探 囊取物。年幼的人类当然更不在话下,当然啦,如果六千五百万年前有人的话。

译者: raogaoqi      http://www.ecocn.org/forum/viewthread.php?tid=11763&extra=page%3D1


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