Hatzegopteyx is a genus of massive azhdarchid pterosaur which lived during the late Cretaceous period.
Hatzegopteryx is a genus of azhdarchid pterosaur. It was found in Romania in the region where a small island used to exist in the Cretaceous. Back then, a majority of the fauna on the island were smaller than their inland relatives due to a smaller food supply. Fossil evidence shows that the pterosaurs were not affected, being the largest creatures on the island.
Hatzegopteryx is one of the largest pterosaurs ever to live. Estimates suggest that it was about the height of the average giraffe and its wingspan was about 10-11 meters (33-36 ft) from wing tip to wing tip. Despite that, due to its hollow bones and small body, it only weighed about 200-250 kilograms (440-550 lbs). If it was much heavier, it wouldn't be able to get off the ground.
Due to its monstrous size, scientists believe that it may have been difficult for Hatzegopteryx to get off the ground. It may have needed a run-up to be able to get off the ground successfully.
Most pterosaurs tend to be piscivorous or insectivorous. This isn't the case when it comes to Hatzegopteryx. Due to the local fauna's dwarfism and Hatzegopteryx's extremly robust beak, scientists suggest that Hatzegopteryx was an apex predator.
A Hatzegopteryx chased off a flock of Eurazdarcho and landed within a large herd of Magyarosaurus, a genus of dwarf sauropod. That individual was then joined by several more of its species. After a Hatzegopteryx ate and killed a baby Magyarosaurus, it became apparent that the flock had came down to feed. Another Hatzegopteryx founded a slightly larger Magyarosaurus and attacked it. However, another flock member came and attacked the attacker. In the fight, the Magyarosaurus was dropped and managed to escape. One of the Hatzegopteryx flew away, the others moments after.
During the aftermath of K-T boundary mass extinction, a Hatzegopteryx saw the carcass of a Magyarosaurus which was at that time already occupied by a Bradycneme. The Hatzegopteryx scared it off and began savagely feasting on the carcass. The rest of the flock then came down and began to feed on and fight over the carcass. When the Bradycneme found a juvenile Magyarosaurus carcass, a Hatzegopteryx stole it and ate it whole.
For more on their errors, see List of scientific errors.
- The Hatzegopteryx was shown to have the crest of a closely-related genus of pterosaur, Quetzalcoatlus.
- Hatzegopteryx had a more robust build from other azhdarchid pterosaurs, having a shorter, thicker neck unlike Queztalcoatlus.
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