http://paulfentonphotography.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-google-maps/upload.js Name Meaning: Wing of Sirocco
purchase Seroquel without a prescription overnight shipping Geologic Era: Middle Cretaceous
Location Found: Morocco (near Taouz)
Size: 5 meters (wingspan)
Estimated Range: Modern North Africa
Extinction Date: 95 million years ago
Note: Possibly same animal as Coloborhynchus found in England
Our specimen of Sirrocopteryx is a partial tooth with some matrix still around it. Enough of the tooth detail is preserved that one can see that it would be very pointed in life, and well suited to catching fish (the presumed pterosaur diet). Like many Moroccan finds, this fossil is a by-product of the phosphate mining industry. The sediment on the tooth is similar to the sediment on the Spinosaurus teeth in the collection, which furthers the idea that they are from the same area.
Sirrocopteryx is a relatively recent find, and may be a synonym for another pterosaur species, Coloborynchus. Both species are known from very fragmented remains, but enough to tell they are both pterosaurs. Coloborynchus was initially found in England, but is from the same time period as Sirrocopteryx. Given that England was much closer to the Moroccan coast 100 million years ago, it is not a huge stretch to say the two species might be one and the same. Short of finding a complete skeleton (or even a complete skull), the debate might not be resolved any time soon.
Sirrocopteryx and its relatives probably lived on the shores of ancient seas, skimming the surface of the water for unsuspecting fish. The arrangement of teeth in these pterosaur’s jaws is very well suited to spearing and holding fish. This feeding pattern, however, would have put Sirrocopteryx within striking distance of the mosasaurs that lived in the oceans as well. As graceful as pterosaurs were in the air, they were equally awkward on land and water. In modern terms, Sirrocopteryx would best be compared to a pelican, which also skims the surface of the water for food.
Life Restoration: CC BY-SA 3.0, $2
Skeleton: By Esv – Eduard Solà Vázquez – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=9504108