7 September 2021

Darwin Museum was gifted an Ornithocheirus Pterosaur tooth

A paleontologist from Ryazan, Sergey Solonin made a gift of a pterosaur tooth found in the Ryazan region (Russia) to the museum.

One hundred million years ago Ryazan region was under a warm sea inhabited by sharks, stingrays, and various marine reptiles.  Today it is one of the largest fossil sites, where prehistoric marine animals are found.

A group of scientists from Ryazan State University and their foreign colleagues is working on a detailed description of the prehistoric fauna of Ryazan. The scientists were amazed when among the numerous shark teeth they found six teeth of famous pterosaurs. 

This is quite a unique find. Fossil remains of the pterosaurs have never been found in the center of Russia before. All six thin curved teeth belong to the Ornithocheiruses that lived more than 100 million years ago on the territory of Europe and Africa. Their wingspan reached nine meters. The species fed on fish, which it snatched out of the water with the help of its thin, long and slightly curved teeth.

A find of this kind is a great success for paleontologists. Pterosaur teeth have already been found in Europe and Russia: in Tatarstan, Volgograd, near Tambov, and Saratov. However, these are the first ones found so close to Moscow. Currently, the findings are being studied by Russian scientists and their colleagues from the USA, France, Great Britain, Germany, Austria, Italy, Poland, Sweden, and Australia. Sergey Solonin, the participant of this research and the grad student of the Ryazan State University gifted one of the teeth to the State Darwin Museum. 

We sincerely thank the Ryazan scientists and wish them even more amazing finds and remarkable discoveries! 

We invite you to admire pterosaurs and other prehistoric monsters at our exhibition "Russian Paleoart". It is open until November 7.

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