Brush Up on History:
Flying Reptile, Big Teeth
* Washington's panda cub isn't the only rare animal that now has a name. A recently found species of flying reptile that hung out with the dinosaurs has been named for its long, pointy teeth.
"It has massive fanglike front teeth, behind which are three small teeth, said researcher David Martill. "Behind those are bigger teeth and then rows of smaller teeth."
In other words, a lot of teeth.
Scientists have named the reptile, which lived more than 65 million years ago, Caulkicephalus trimicrodon. Caulkicephalus (pronounced kawk-uh-SEFF-uh-luss) comes from the nickname for people born on England's Isle of Wight, where the reptile's remains were found. Trimicrodon (try-MIKE-row-don) means three small teeth.
"It was a fish-eater [and] one of the largest flying animals of its time," with a wingspan of about 16 feet, Martill said.
Pterosaurs, or winged lizards, developed the ability to fly. They lived from about 228 million to 65 million years ago, and their size ranged from that of a small bird to a creature with a wingspan of 60 feet (about the distance from the pitcher's mound to home plate)! Pterosaurs (TARE-uh-soars) developed in many different forms, Martill said, and at least two groups became toothless.
So, you see, it pays to brush.