Haliskia peterseni by Gabriel Ugueto

Transcript: Episode 36: Aussie Pterosaur Roundup Featuring Adele Pentland

This is a transcript for Episode 36: Aussie Pterosaur Roundup. Access the episode page here.

Travis (00:26)
My guest today is longtime friend of the show, pterosaur expert, star palaeontologist, cattle Wrangler, and all -round awesome Adele Pentland. Hi, Del.

Adele Pentland (00:37)
Hi, Travis. Hello, Dr. Travis Holland. How are you going?

Travis (00:40)
You don’t have to be so formal. Del how are you going? Because you just keep kicking goals with pterosaurs.

Adele Pentland (00:48)
I’m ready for a nap, to be honest. No, I’m really good. Yeah, so just recently we announced Haliskia Peterseni a new pterosaur, a 22 % complete skeleton from Australia, of all places. Australia does have fossils. Slowly chipping away. Yeah, it’s great that it’s finally out and yeah, school holidays is happening, so.

Travis (00:51)

Adele Pentland (01:15)
Some folks are visiting Kronosaurus Korner where that specimen was found in the local dig pits and finding fossils. So yeah, it’s all happening.

Travis (01:24)
let’s, let’s stick with Haliskia I heard your interview with Kevin Petersen, who was the found finder of the fossil and is, he’s the CEO at Kronosaurs Korner Is that right? Yeah. So tell me a bit about Haliskia.

Adele Pentland (01:35)
He’s the curator.

Yeah. So the specimen was found in November, 2021 by Kev and he had found pterosaur fossils before, which is a bit mind blowing because they are pretty rare. and the reason for that is they are the first vertebrates to develop powered flight.

Of course, insects had done that like tens of millions before pterosaurs, but pterosaurs did beat out birds. So I like to get that in there. Yeah, so they’re really thin, fragile, delicate things that are all, you know, between 250 to 66 million years old as a group. But this particular

pterosaur, its bones are a hundred million years old and was found at the bottom of the ocean. or what was an ocean? It’s now out back Queensland. Sorry. I’m jumping all over the place. I’m just really excited to talk about it. but yeah, Kev and his eagle eyes, he was checking on another fossil in the ground, then needed to go back to the car to grab a tool that he needed and spotted.

Travis (02:35)
No, no, go for it.

Adele Pentland (02:50)
this pterosaur bone knew what it was straight away and then slowly started uncovering it and realizing, this is going to be a pretty massive job because there’s quite a bit here. And yeah, it was a bit of a mission to get it back to the museum, Kronosaurs Korner, even though it was just six kilometers away from site. But yeah, the river ran and it was during the wet season and all this stuff happened, but it’s a pretty amazing specimen.

so yeah, 22 % complete. it has the tip of the upper jaw, with some teeth in it. It has the complete lower jaw, which is a first for Australia. it has a couple of vertebrae, some ribs and bones from both sides of the wing and then one of the legs too, or parts of one of the legs, I should say.

Travis (03:43)
So, and then Kevin gave you the opportunity to name and describe along with some colleagues name and describe Haliskia. So where does that name come from?

Adele Pentland (03:53)
it’s a massive, opportunity to be able to work on something like this. So I’m really fortunate and lucky that, Kronosaurus Korner reached out to me to work on it and had that trust. And I’ve had just such a wonderful time working on it. Kev’s amazing. The whole team there’s really great. And Rob Ivers, the founder as well, is just a legend fellow cattle wrangler. Big respect.

I named another pterosaur before this one and called it Ferrodraco and a lot of pterosaur scientific names, they tend to end in Draco, for dragon Rincus, which is kind of to do with the snout. Teryx or Pterus, which is in reference to the wing.

and I think the first name that I actually picked out was, Kevipteris. I was thinking Kevipteris Queenslandicus and I asked Kev and he’s like, nah, don’t like it. So I’m like, okay, back to the drawing board. and then I was like, okay. I knew I wanted to name it after Kev and I had asked him as well. Like, do you want to be a co -author on the paper? You’ve put in so much work, you know, the specimen as well as I do, maybe even better.

And he was like, nah, not really my thing. And I’m like, okay, I know how to, I know how to acknowledge you. Cause he just said, I just want to be acknowledged. so I had picked out Peterson, I as the species name. And then I was thinking about some of the other terrasaur names. So there’s some like classic combos you can do based on ancient Greek and ancient Latin. and then there’s like another terrasaur in Brazil that

is called Anghanguera and that name means old devil. And I just really love this idea of like these terraces swooping around like causing chaos. So I was thinking, okay, like I want like a phantom or something. And I reached out to my PhD supervisor, Dr. Stephen Poropat, and he sent me

this reference and it basically has like a long list of ancient Greek, ancient Latin words. So you can pull from that. And he also said you should contact Ben Creisler this guy who, runs something called dinosaur mailing list. It has been a huge resource in addition to like me setting up Google Scholar alerts for pterosaur papers. This guy like basically will tell you straight to your inbox about

a lot like vertebrate paleontology papers essentially. So I reached out to him because he sort of knows a lot about naming conventions and stuff because another aspect of being on dinosaur mailing lists and I know this is like really weird insider like very granular talk, but it’s kind of interesting because you’ll see the announcement of a new paper, but then you’ll see all these paleos and stuff like rating the names but also like kind of throwing shade at each other a little bit. It’s very

Interesting. But anyway, but like, and that’s not to say that Ben is a toxic gossipy person. No, definitely not. He’s just letting people know that these things exist. Anyway, there’s a lot about names and to cut a long story short, we wanted to have like Shadow of the Sea or something like that. So Hals is in reference to salt for the ocean. And then Skia is a phantom.

So technically, and this is in the paper, the proper pronunciation is hay-li-sky-ah petersen-eye but I don’t speak with an ancient Greek accent, speak with this horrible, not Australian enough Australian progressively getting more Bogan as I spend more time in central Western Queensland accent. So, how list here it is, at least I’m consistent.

Travis (07:43)
I think it’s, I think it’s a really, a really cool name. So, yeah. Congratulations to you and your colleagues on, on describing it. Now that we’ve got the name out of the way, tell me a little bit about what you do know about Haliskia or Haliskia and it’s, you know, lifestyle and family groupings and things like that.

Adele Pentland (08:01)
Yeah, so looking at the bones, we can see that this individual, and we only have the one fossil specimen, it was an adult at the time that it died. And we know that based on the fusion of some of the bones. So when I say fusion, I want you to think of like a baby’s skull. It’s made up of these different plates of bone. And then as you know,

they get older in age, the plates of bone fuse together and that makes up our skull. So the same thing happens in certain groups in different parts of the body. So with pterosaurs, they have two bones that make up the shoulder and they’re called the scapula and the coracoid. And they fuse together to form this boomerang shaped thing called a scapula coracoid. So I can see the scapula coracoid and it’s one unit in this animal called sweet. It’s

adult, there’s also another bone in the wings. It’s technically the first wing phalanx. So it’s like, technically one of the hand bones, but it actually is one of the big major bones in the wings. It has this tiny little like pointy nub on it called the extensor tendon process. It’s fused on. I can see the suture line. So I can see where the two attached, but they’re firmly together. So again,

another thing that tells me this was an adult and we don’t have all of the wing bones. In fact, we’re actually missing the humerus, which is your upper arm bone, as well as the ulna and the radius, which are your lower arm bones. So that’s a bit annoying, but we have enough bones when we compare it with similar pterosaurs. Haliskia had a wingspan of 4 .6 meters, which I believe is 15 feet. So

pretty, pretty large animal. It’s not the biggest pterosaur by any means, but yeah, still pretty big, especially when you compare it to like some of the biggest birds that are around today. And then in terms of what its family grouping is and like what it’s closely related to, it’s sort of like cousins with a hanguera, which I mentioned before, but

If we get more specific, it’s actually more closely related to some of the other Australian pterosaurs, but not all of them. So it’s closely related to Ferrodraco even though there’s like five, maybe six, give or take a few million years, separating the two, as well as another pterosaur called Mythunga camara and then if you sort of zoom out, it’s part of this bigger group.

which has sometimes called Ornithocheiridae sometimes called Anhangueridae It’s, I’m getting really like lost in the details, but yeah, to me, what’s really interesting about its family relationships is that it has this massive wingspan. Things that are this big alive today, they are called soarers for a reason. Once they’re up in the air, they barely, like there’s barely a wing beat. They are just riding the currents cause they’re that massive.

so they can fly really well and you know, things like the Albatross today, they’ll spend months at sea and then, yeah, they’re just so good at flying. They cover so much country, so many kilometers. and yet, yeah, this terrasaur that probably could have flown anywhere it wanted to just kind of chose not to. And this seems to be this like little.

family group of pterosaurs over millions of years hanging around what is now central Western Queensland. And this isn’t my theory initially, this is actually something proposed by another PhD, Tim Richards. So yeah, that’s really interesting and a little bit weird. But yeah, as I mentioned at the top of the episode two, Haliskia was found at what was the bottom of the ocean. There were things like plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs and

Travis (11:49)

Adele Pentland (12:09)
Kronosaurs these big marine reptiles, there were fish, there were turtles as well. And then this pterosaur was flying around and probably was like maybe hunting fish in the water or, you know, died out at sea and has fallen down to the bottom of the ocean. So how much time was it spending out at sea? Absolutely no idea. But yeah.

looking at its teeth at probably eight fish and squid like creatures, Bellum Knights. But yeah, it’s, it has these jaws filled with teeth and when they close them, the teeth kind of interlock and form like when your hands, like when you’re holding hands with someone and your fingers interlock, it’s kind of like that.

I’m doing the motion for Travis. If you’re just listening to the podcast, you will miss this, but people will be able to see me doing this for ages. yeah, it’s called this fish grab. Yeah. it’s called a fish grab dentition for a reason, cause yeah, there’s the slippery prey and it just kind of stops things from sliding out. and then the other.

Travis (12:57)
Yeah, they love together

will be on YouTube and Spotify.

Adele Pentland (13:17)
The final weird thing about Haliskia is that it has these really thin throat bones, which are like 30 centimeters long, like a foot long.

Sorry, I’m just thinking about doing a Simpsons reference. My last words, my last words to Haliskia were no foot longs. The throat bones, yeah, they’re like about as thin as a piece of spaghetti, a foot long. And they’re so long, these throat bones are so long compared to the lower jaw. They’re very rare in pterosaurs. There’s only like so many specimens where they have these preserved and it’s in Haliskia.

Travis (13:28)
What did, yeah, yeah, nice. for it. You know I love the Simpsons.

Adele Pentland (13:51)
And these throat bones are 70 % the length of the lower jaws, which is massive. Like the next biggest ones, it’s like 64%. Well, I…

Travis (13:59)
of those bones tell us anything about the diet or the behaviour?

Adele Pentland (14:08)
Well, I think it says that it’s got like a pretty long muscular tongue because that’s what the function of that bone is. it’s like an anchor for the tongue, tongue, sorry. and in fact, a few years ago, there was some, there was another group of researchers that kind of almost said, I wonder if pterosaurs had like projectile chameleon tongues. But then you look at the bones and,

Travis (14:13)

Adele Pentland (14:33)
The throat bones of a chameleon, they’re kind of like, my gosh, what is it called? Like a Venus comb or something? Like it has a bunch of prongs coming off it, a bunch of branches coming off it. Whereas like the throat bones and helisky are just like pretty long, pretty straight. And then they sort of bow out at a certain point. So it’s kind of more like a weird fish bone situation. If you’re looking at both the left and the right.

but yeah, it’s been more compared to, corvids/crows and scavengers and stuff like that. But yeah, this is, this is what managed to get in the paper. So, no one’s challenged on it, challenged me on it so far, but they’ve only had like a couple of weeks to do so.

Travis (15:18)
And the fact that it’s related to the Anhanguerid pterosaurs so there’s the South American group primarily right South American and Australian so obviously They’re related in some way But as you pointed out these are animals built for soaring, but they seem to have been confined to the southern continents Is that right?

Adele Pentland (15:39)
Yeah. so no, no, no. there’s Anhanguerids and then there’s Anhanguerians which will only like make a difference to maybe one or two people listening to this. but yeah, Anhanguerians have been found in South America, Australia, Africa, England, and China. I feel like I’m missing someone else out, but.

Travis (15:40)
Am I misreading that?


Adele Pentland (16:04)
No one’s here to tell me no. so they have been found in a bunch of places. I think one researcher in 2015, Paul Upchurch kind of hypothesized that this group probably was living everywhere during this time in the early Cretaceous, like a hundred million years ago or so, like give or take, you know, millions of years either side of that. It’s just that we don’t have.

rocks from that particular time period in, say, North America, they have a lot of late Cretaceous deposits, which is where you get your T. rexes and stuff like that. But yeah, in terms of this other, these early Cretaceous fossil deposits, like this is what we have. And yeah, sure enough, there’s a fair amount of these pterosaurs getting around. Whereas in the late Cretaceous,

Most everything actually doesn’t have any teeth at all. And they have beaks. if you’ve seen Prehistoric Planet especially season two, you’ll probably know what I’m talking about. These like just massive demon stalks, just picking off dinosaurs like they’re chicken nuggets.

Travis (17:15)
Yeah, the Azhdarchids

Adele Pentland (17:17)
Absolutely terrifying. I would love to find them in Australia. And there is one bone, but we need more.

Travis (17:19)

of an Azhdarchid?

Which species does that belong to? Has it been identified or probably maybe not?

Adele Pentland (17:29)
It hasn’t been, it hasn’t been giving given a species name, which I’m very happy about because it’s like half of an ulna I really don’t like species names after like one bone.

Travis (17:43)
Well, there’s nothing to name them after, right? Because you’re usually naming them after some kind of feature, but if you’ve only got a small, a small portion of one bone, it’s very difficult to do that. So, so the Aussie pterosaurs we do know about, there’s Aussiedraco there’s Ferrodraco which is your other pterosaur that you named. You mentioned the Mythunga already. and Thapunngaka is that, how you say that one? Do you…

Adele Pentland (18:01)
My first son.

I think it’s

Travis (18:37)
Kappanaga, sorry.

How do you think these as a group are related or how do they all fit together? What’s the puzzle look like for Australian Terran soldiers? Are we just missing a whole bunch?

Adele Pentland (18:26)
is closely related to Ferrodraco and Mythunga and I tried to include it in my new analysis as well. And when I would include it, and sometimes when I would include Mythunga,

What would happen is that instead of having like a family tree with a bunch of detail, it would just turn into a comb. So what I mean by that is you’d have like the names of 15 different species and they’d all have the same sort of origin point, which was very frustrating. considering you’d have, you know, things within the same genus and then it would just be in a comb. And it’s like, well,

know, the two things that are in the same genus. It’s pretty well demonstrated that they’re sister taxa, like what’s going on? And I tried doing it a bunch of different ways. I tried using different data sets. I tried using the original character scores that Tim Richards published. I tried using mine and yeah, some things were just not sticking. But yeah, Ferrodraco, Thapunngaka.

Travis (19:32)

Adele Pentland (19:48)
And Mythunga all seem pretty closely related. I was hoping that having Haliskia would sort of make things a bit better resolved, but in this case that didn’t happen. but yeah, hopefully again, with the description of more Australian pterosaurs, even if they’re not new species, even if they’re just more complete examples of say Mythunga, which is just the midsection of an upper and a lower jaw or something like.

Yeah, Aussiedraco or Thapunngaka. Hopefully that’ll clear things up. the odd one out is Aussiedraco and Aussiedraco is a bit of lower jaw. It has five like empty alveoli or tooth sockets on it. And it’s about as big as my pinky, which is not very big. And it belongs to this group called Targaryendraconia

And yes, that is a Game of Thrones reference, but I’m not a Game of Thrones person. So please don’t quiz me on it and don’t at me because I’m a very soft squishy human being and I just need nice things. I don’t want to see people getting murdered when I’m trying to chill and unwind. It’s not how my brain works. Targaryendraconia is something that, Brazilian, palaeontologist, pterosaur researcher, I think it’s Rodrigo Pêgas conceived in 2019.

2018, something like that. But yeah, it’s interesting that most of the pterosaurs of this age living around this basin are all closely related, but then you have an outlier. But again, you know, one fossil can completely change our understanding. We might find like another group living alongside these because most of the Australian pterosaurs are fairly Cretaceous in age.

We have a lot of rocks that at that age, that’s why a lot of the dinosaurs that we find in Australia are from that time period. And we’re missing lots of tri – we’re missing basically a ton of Triassic and Jurassic dinosaurs. Same is true for our pterosaurs.

In the early Cretaceous, we should be finding things like Tapejarids which are a slightly smaller group in terms of their wingspans. They’ve got like two to three meter wingspans, but they’ve got beaks. And they are sort of like the parrots of the pterosaur world. They were probably eating fruits and stuff like that. And then they’re

Travis (22:17)
Tapejarids tend to have ornate crests too, don’t they? Yeah.

Adele Pentland (22:17)
with some other.

massive weird wind sail heads. and then there’s others, called Tupuxuarids It’s which I think have only been found from Brazil, but Tapejarids are known from, Europe, I think Spain and China. So where’s our Australian ones. And I thought we had an Australian one for a while there. And then on closer inspection, it was,

new type of meat, new type of theropod dinosaur, I should say, based on one neck bone that I was really frustrated. I was happy, but also frustrated being like, no, I wanted a Tapejarid

Travis (22:52)
Okay. Yep.

Well, you’re, you’re, you’re the pterosaur go to, so, you know, of course, of course you wanted, we’re hoping there was the pterosaur’s hiding there. What are the hopes for future discovery? So you optimistic that there’s more to come?

Adele Pentland (23:15)
yeah, absolutely. I think we there’s only one direction from here and it’s up. So like the first [Australian] pterosaurs known to Western science were published in 1980. Whereas in the whole grand scheme of things, the first pterosaurs published anywhere by Western science was in the 18th century. So there’s just so much catching up to do.

And then yeah, Kev’s an absolute cracker, Kevin Peterson. He has found, yeah, there’s another specimen that I’m working on that he found before Haliskia had been published. and then I think, I think it was the week after we had, opened the revamped pterosaur display at the museum a week later, like another pterosaur bone turned up. Like it’s just nuts.

so yeah, there’s like a lot of scope for research there. So still lots of pterosaurs coming out of central Western Queensland, but yeah, we don’t really have a good understanding of what groups are present in Victoria. there’s yeah, just two bones that have been published so far. there’s a lot of things that have been identified as teeth. To me, they’re very difficult to pick apart from plesiosaurs.

but I don’t know, there might be a way of being able to tell them apart using something else other than just eyeballing it. And then yeah, Western Australia is just really weird because you have, too late Cretaceous deposits. And yet one of them and as dark as Ulma, which again is a bone in your lower arm has been found. And then a little fragment of jaw, with two.

like tooth sockets to alveoli. So yeah, more exploration there would be great. And then there has been some stuff found from the Griman Creek formation in New South Wales, like opalised pterosaur teeth. But yeah, it’s, it’s really hard to sort of like even get your hands on specimens like that in the first place. And then it’s so different. It’s really

different and challenging, like looking at opalised bones, when all you’re dealing with is shape because the actual bone surface, the outer veneer is just completely gone. it’s not something that I’m really well versed in that apply stuff.

Travis (25:44)
Is Australia just bad for preserving pterosaurs or is it that we haven’t found them yet? That we haven’t entered that kind of golden age? Because as you said, the first bomb was only discovered in the 80s. So we’re really not looking at a very long period so far of discovery in that space.

Adele Pentland (26:03)
Yeah, I think in terms of like the biases that have sort of held us back, I think being able to identify it has been a bit of a hurdle. it’s yeah, really interesting working alongside Kronosaurus Korner because, I got to chat with, Dennis Clancy who has been involved with them for a number of years. And he remembers at one point going out to the dig pits.

And the curator at the time, a few years ago, or I don’t know how many years ago now said, that bone’s not important. Like it’s just a bit of cruddy fish. Chuck it. And Dennis actually was just like, no, actually I’m going to keep it. And that’s, that was totally fine at Kronosaurus Korner. Anything that’s scientifically significant is an automatic donation to the museum, but you can keep other stuff. so he had kept it for years and years.

And he showed it to Kevin, I think a few months ago now, and Kev was like, yep, that’s pterosaur. So I think part of the reason why they’re finding so many pterosaurs now at Kronosaurs Korner in the Toolebuc Formation is because Kevin’s there, because he knows what that looks like and how it behaves. It kind of looks like eggshell that’s flattened.

because the bone is hollow, like when it has, you know, I don’t know how many meters of sediment on top plus, you know, the weight of the ocean bearing down on it, it just gets crushed, but it’s still kind of holds together that surface. But yeah, it just has this funny eggshell sort of fracture texture. so that’s a lot of the time how you work out if that bone is a pterosaur. yeah. So I think.

Kevin being there is just like a massive advantage. And then, yeah, I think it just generally sort of ties in with this perception that Australia hasn’t really had dinosaurs. And that if there has been stuff found at the surface, it’s been a lag deposit. So for anyone living in Australia, you know that we’re not a tectonically active country and we don’t have a lot of volcanoes.

those geological processes are great at destroying bones and just wiping them away. We’re a very old stable continent and that is a patchwork of all kinds of different ages of rocks as well. So I mentioned before, we don’t have like hardly any Triassic and Jurassic rocks at the surface. So that makes things really challenging.

in terms of understanding what our Australian pterosaurs look like during those time periods. but yeah, there’s still like a lot of scope for research and I’m super optimistic because every time I feel like, yes, I’ve caught up, like this is described, this is like my last big like research paper on pterosaurs for a while. I’ll start doing these other like side projects. No, this is just like more and more that keeps coming. It’s great problem to have.

Travis (29:14)
Yeah, as a PhD student, it’s hard to know where to stop, right? What do you draw the line for your project?

Adele Pentland (29:21)
yeah. And I’m like, historically bad for this. When I was an honors student, and I was working on amber. So part of my job was to sort of manually like process, like bits of amber and then also inspect them underneath the microscope. And I don’t know what my supervisors were letting me do. I think they were just seeing that I was in the lab, they were happy with my progress. And then they were like, well, how many pieces of amber have you looked at under the microscope? And I said,

over 2000 and they were like, what, what you should, you should be writing. What are you doing? And I’m like, well, I didn’t know. So yeah, I’m really bad at drawing a line in the sand for these sorts of things. It’s been, it’s always been a bit of a bite off more than you can chew and chew like hell kind of situation.

Travis (30:09)
Yeah, fair enough. Question without notice, previously when you’ve been on, we’ve talked a lot about Winton and the Australian Age of Dinosaurs. And this time we’ve talked a lot about Kronosaurus Korner Obviously Queensland is really the dinosaur or the extinct animal capital, just about. Yeah. Dinosaur capital of Australia is what Winton calls itself, right? So, and then Kronosaurus Korner is,

Adele Pentland (30:27)
the dinosaur capital

Travis (30:35)
in Richmond is named after the Kronosaurs and you’ve got pterosaurs so you’ve got both both marine reptiles and flying reptiles there. What do you think these museums, what role do they have to play in attracting visitors and supporting the towns like in terms of you know dinosaur tourism sort of thing, paleo tourism?

Adele Pentland (30:56)
They, to me, I’m going to be really biased, but I’m just going to put it out there. I think they make or break. And there are probably people that will challenge me on this, but you know, in terms of keeping people coming through towns and stuff and the money that they inject, it is absolutely huge. Winton has a population of like a thousand tops. Richmond, I think, Richmond, I think is smaller.

and yeah, Australian Age of Dinosaurs was started by David Elliott, a sheep cocky who didn’t want the town to become like another one very close by called Corfield. Corfield is actually the postcode that I properly live in. I keep saying I’m from Winton. No, I actually properly live in Corfield, but Corfield is a pub that is just basically run by volunteers nowadays. and there’s like two houses there.

And that happens to, you know, country towns, like towns disappear. this isn’t hyperbole. This happens. And yeah, David wanted, he didn’t want Winton to become like Caulfield and Mudderborough is another town in Australia that is famous for the Mudderborough Soros, which is the state fossil emblem for Queensland. But.

Because of the infrastructure, it’s not exactly easy to get to, just because like not all the roads going there are sealed essentially, but yeah, it’s, they play such an important role. And I think for a lot of towns, especially with recent droughts and other things out of control, like the price of livestock and how much.

money is sort of generated through agriculture. Like tourism plays a massive part. And I certainly wouldn’t be living in central Western Queensland if there hadn’t been an Age of Dinosaurs because before. Yeah. Before I came to Winton, I was living in Melbourne. So yeah, I’ve just seen the impact that it has. And it’s really sweet as well. Like having been in the community for a while.

Seeing kids who know there are dinosaurs and they take pride in it too, is really touching.

Travis (33:20)
It’s yeah, I wanted to touch on that side of it because I know you and I have had those conversations about paleotourism and those roles. So I thought your perspective as someone who’s worked with both those institutions would be really helpful.

Adele Pentland (33:36)
And I worked as a tour guide as well. So like I’ve seen how the sausage is made too. and yeah, the more things that are out here as well, it makes a big difference when people have a reason to stay in town overnight or for a few nights rather than just passing through and grabbing something at a servo or whatever. especially yeah, Richmond as well. People come out to the dig sites and get hooked and they spend like a week or.

however long, like that makes a huge difference. And it doesn’t really seem like it, but it does.

Travis (34:09)
The last question I want to put to you Adele as Australia’s probably foremost pterosaur expert, at least in my estimation, which probably doesn’t count for much, but I’m, I’m going to claim, claim that for you anyway. Why are pterosaurs so awesome?

Adele Pentland (34:25)
For one thing, people think they’re dinosaurs, which helps so much with PR. It’s not funny. but they’re technically not dinosaurs, but anyway, it is very helpful. they’re fly, like they can fly, which is basically having a super power. We love that. And yeah, some of them are just super weird and pterosaurs some pterosaurs are the largest animals who have ever flown. Like.

Quetzalcoatlus, which is an as dark as might’ve seen in Prehistoric Planet, I believe. Yeah, they had wingspans of 12 meters or 10 meters conservatively. Some people put it at 16 meters, but that seems like just more like too big. Anyway, I think the combination of all those things is the reason why, yeah, people love them.

Travis (35:19)
Congratulations on all your outstanding research to you and the research teams and Kevin and various others involved as well. It’s been fascinating for me to look at. I’ll make sure people have access to the links to all the papers in the show notes

Adele Pentland (35:34)
the paper is open access. It’s published in Scientific Reports we also wrote an article in The Conversation which is free to access to. It’s like a, a summary of the paper without any jargon and stuff. And yeah, I just really want to thank Kevin for finding it.

Fox and Rob Ivers of Kronosaurus Korner and Gabrielle Ugueto. We managed to get him to do the paleo art for it. He was a consultant on Prehistoric Planet.

Travis (36:03)
mention the fantastic paleo art. So yeah, Gabriella Ugueto and you’ve also had a Zev on doing some work for you as well. Yeah.

Adele Pentland (36:13)
Zev Landes , yeah Zev did like a cartoon version of it and we made some merch, including what is now my favorite stubby cooler, which is saying a lot because we have so many in the house. Yes, I’ve did these amazing, like fun cartoons and, you know, ask me like, what color should we do it? I’m like, we’re doing a Phantom like let’s lean into the grays and the dark grays. But you know, something fun and vibrant with the beak, the rostrum like.

the end of the jaws and yeah, just, it was so fun to work with like everyone. but yeah, I really do hope that I get to work with Gabrielle, in the future and Zev and I will definitely have something like in the pipelines later on. So, and of course my amazing collaborators in Curtin University.

Travis (36:57)
All right, thanks again.

Thanks again. Take care.

Adele Pentland (37:02)
Thanks so much for having me, Travis.

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