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Palaeontology

'Vampire' pterosaur fed on dinosaur blood ?

By T.K. Randall
February 25, 2012 · Comment icon 12 comments

Image Credit: Gerhard Boeggemann
A prehistoric species of flying reptile might have feasted upon the blood of large dinosaurs.
Jeholopterus was an unusual pterosaur in that it possessed features that weren't typical of winged reptiles. In addition to toughened, elongated fang-like teeth the species is also thought to have had a mechanism with which to bite down and lock its teeth in place on to a target after a strike. Could these traits have made it a perfect vampiric predator or were they used for something else ?
The Jeholopterus was a small pterosaur who was found in Northeastern China. Though originally identified as an insect-eater, an odd mystery about the animal eventually led one researcher to suggest the creature was actually feeding on the blood of nearby sauropods.


Source: io9.com | Comments (12)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by 3.0 12 years ago
"Jurassic Chupacabra?"
Comment icon #4 Posted by libstaK 12 years ago
Precursor of the Vampire Bat by the looks of it - I don't see why it would be improbable, mosquitos, leeches and bats drink blood today after all.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Habitat 12 years ago
Precursor of the Vampire Bat by the looks of it - I don't see why it would be improbable, mosquitos, leeches and bats drink blood today after all. You left money lenders out of that list ? Yeah, I think it sounds like an analogy to the Vampire Bat, it is a well established principle in biology that evolution pushes sometimes quite different creatures into a very similar ways of 'making a living'. Funny though, that the marsupials produced the Kangaroo and its extraordinary ( and very efficient) means of getting around, and the mammals and reptiles, seemingly did not replicate it.
Comment icon #6 Posted by AbsurdistMe 12 years ago
I wonder if it sparkled LOL Now that is scary...
Comment icon #7 Posted by CommieX 12 years ago
David Peters, the individual who came up with the vampire hypothesis, is not a paleontologist. He is an artist whose wild "theories" on pterosaurs are laughed at by pretty much all serious experts on pterosaurs. Look this guy up, he's a nut!
Comment icon #8 Posted by UniqueWolf 12 years ago
I wonder if it's related to the vampire bat? Or actual vampires (not the sissies that sparkle)
Comment icon #9 Posted by Englishgent 12 years ago
I suppose anything is possible. We can look at fossils and to some degree of accuracy, give an assumption, but we will never know all there is to know because we dont really have anything to compare dinosaurs with today, other than perhaps birds.. This guy might well be a 'nut' as another poster suggested, but who is to say he isnt right? Paleantologists are forever coming up with new information which quite often debunks previous assessments and rewrites the books.
Comment icon #10 Posted by missymoo999 12 years ago
I wonder if it sparkled only in the sunlight.....but not in part 4 during the honeymoon on the tropical island,for some odd reason.
Comment icon #11 Posted by missymoo999 12 years ago
Interesting read,but I too am dubious to its vampire label.Hard to prove.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Oma_Desala 12 years ago
I wonder if it sparkled Might have been. Can be quite useful when there's a power out and all the lamps go out. Though from the build I wouldn't say it could have flown up to any dinosaur's neck to for a quick bite. by deadmine on deviantart Oh wait, that's it actually: from the article, obviously


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