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Elvis has left the building: Quarry fossil sheds rockstar name

Researchers from Britain, America and Germany have named a prehistoric discovery that was revealed in a quarry. 

The 145-million-year-old pterosaur was found in a Bavarian quarry in Germany a few years ago before scientists from the three countries joined together to conduct research on the discovery.

As a result of that discovery and the subsequent research, the animal has been given the formal scientific name of Petrodactyle wellnhoferi. 

According to Queen Mary University’s release it had previously gone by the simpler name of Elvis.

According to the researchers, the name was chosen to honour legendary German palaeontologist Peter Wellnhofer who spent his career working on German pterosaurs. It translates as  ‘Wellnhofer’s stone-finger’.

Bruce Lauer of the Lauer Foundation, confirmed the quarry finding.

“The specimen was located in a quarry which is producing scientifically important fossils that provide additional insights into Late Jurassic Pterosaurs,” he said.

“This research is a great example of the benefits of cooperation between amateur collectors, commercial fossil dealers, our Foundation and research scientists to advance science.”

Dr David Hone of Queen Mary University of London was the lead author on the study and welcomed the name change.

“Peter Wellnhofer is long overdue having a species of German pterosaur named after him to honour his lifelong contribution to the study of these amazing animals,” he said.

“Big though this crest is, we know that these pterosaurs had skin-like extensions attached to it, so in life Petrodactyle would have had an even larger crest.”

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