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Police Raid Discover Prehistoric Flying Reptile Discovered 

A fossil confiscated in a police raid at Santos Harbour turned out to be one of the best-preserved Flying Reptile. The study was published in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Victor Beccari of the University of São Paulo and colleagues. The fossil belongs to Tapejarids.

Tapejarids are known for their enormous head crests and their abundance in the fossil record of Brazil, but most Brazilian tapejarid fossils preserve only partial remains. Researchers describe a tapejarid specimen that includes the entire body, which is intact. The Flying Reptile fossil includes sediments of soft tissue alongside the bones, making it the complete tapejarid skeleton found in Brazil.

This fossil confiscated by the police belongs to a species called Tupandactylus navigans. It is preserved across six square-cut limestone slabs, which were seized during a police raid at Santos Harbour in São Paulo. It is among the collections of the University of São Paulo, where researchers were able to reunite the slabs and examine the entire fossil, even CT-scanning to reveal the bones concealed within the stone. This is the first time Paleontologists have been able to study more than just the skull of this species.

The description said that this species had a terrestrial foraging lifestyle because of its long neck and the proportions of its limbs. It also has a large head crest that could affect long-distance flight. The specimen has all the necessary adaptations for a powered flight, like the presence of a notarium and a developed muscle anchoring region in the arm bones. This specimen also has a large crest on its chin and part of skull ornamentation.

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