Fossil found in Brazilian police raid is best preserved of its kind

An extraordinarily well-preserved pterosaur fossil, fondly referred to as one of the “crown jewels of the Museum of Geological Sciences in São Paolo” by the palaeontologist who has spent five years unlocking its secrets, could well have been lost to science were it not for a lucky police raid in the harbour of São Paolo eight years ago.

The specimen, whose anatomy has been unveiled today for the first time in a new study in the journal PLOS ONE, was uncovered in 2013 among a trove of fossils bound for private sales around the world as part of Brazil’s infamous illegal fossil trade.

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