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Pterosaur Exhibit Spreads its Prehistoric Wings on Upper West Side

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TWC News: Pterosaur Exhibit Takes Flight at Museum of Natural History
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The American Museum of Natural History is showing off its latest research into prehistoric flying reptiles with a new exhibit called "Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs." NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.

Many of us grow up with a fascination for dinosaurs. But we don't keep up with the latest research. A new exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History showcases the latest finding on Pterosaurs, cousins of the dinosaur.

"Pterosaurs are an extinct group of flying reptiles that lived on every continent in the world and they lived between 220 and 66 million years ago," Mark A. Norell, Curator and Chair, Division of Paleontology.

As the exhibit shows, Pterosaurs are the largest flying animals to have ever existed.

"Pterosaurs are very important because first of all they are the first vertebrates that somehow learned how to fly. And they're so different from anything else. And it just shows us a part of the diversity of life that would not be possible if we did not have those fossils," says Dr. Alexander W. A. Kellner, the exhibit's co-curator. "This is what could have been 110 million years ago what would have been in the northeastern part of Brazil. You would have this lagoon those fishes swimming around and the Pterosaur grabbing them."

The curators of this exhibit have both been on historic expeditions around the world, but these days much of the investigation is also done in a lab.

"We can use everything from synchotron radiation to CAT scans to advanced computing to calculate what they ate in some cases. We are trying to figure out what color they were. We can do a lot with their aerodynamics and look at their flight capacity and other aspects of their biology that just would have been impossible just a few years ago," says Norell.

If "Flight in the Age of Dinosaurs" interests you in actual dinosaurs, you can just come one gallery over to one of the world's largest collection of dinosaurs specimens, including everyone's favorite, T-Rex.

The Pterosaurs exhibit is up through January.

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