Flying dragons entered the sphere of human knowledge not as giants

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seventy million years ago a dragon of the air stretched its membranous wings over the Texas delta. (dinosaur factory)Forty feet from wingtip to wingtip, this aerial leviathan possessed a wingspan greater than some twin-engine airliners and was three times wider than the greatest living bird, the Andean condor. The fossil annals in the Texas rocks yield an image as marvelous as any fabrication of the human imagination. Petrified wing bones, vertebrae, and jaws make it possible for us to envision the largest flying creature produced by evolution.

 

Flying dragons entered the sphere of human knowledge not as giants, but as tiny winged skeletons from the fine-grained lime-stone of Bavaria. There, quarrymen hewed out slabs carefully, because this limestone was ideal for making lithographic slabs, plates of stone used to print drawings of delicate and subtle tones. (life size dinosaur for sale)The salty Jurassic sea that laid down these limestone beds in shallow bottoms behind reefs preserved tiny skeletons with exquisite fidelity, because the hypersalinity discouraged the activity of scavengers.

 

As the layers of lime accumulated, bodies of horseshoe crabs, shrimp, and insects settled to the bottom and were entered into the ever-growing record. Occasionally, a tiny leather-winged form would fall into these briny waters, and 150 million years later, during the nineteenth century, quarrymen could send a slab containing the raven-size bones to a nearby German scholar. (lifelike dinosaur for sale)Before long this skeleton reached Baron Cuvier in Paris.