The wingspan of the creature is at least 20ft and the species could weigh up to 650lbs. Pterosaurs, which are believed to have hunted baby dinosaurs, had fascinated scientists as they seemed too heavy to take off but as per The Times, computerised 3D modelling has suggested they may have used their large leg and wing muscles as catapults. Robert Coram, a professional fossil hunter who made the find, said: “It might have been the largest flying creature that had ever lived up to that time.”
Pterosaurs are a separate species from dinosaurs.
They are believed to be the first backboned animals to evolve powered flight some 228million years ago and had aerial supremacy for 160million years.
The Isle of Wight pterosaur is known as Hatezgopteryx and is thought to have lived around 125million years ago before the Isle of Wight was move to its current position by continental drift.
Continental drift was a theory developed in the early 1900s by Alfred Wegener.
Mr Wegener hypothesised continents move away relative to another across the ocean.
The tectonic plate theory built upon this theory and seafloor spreading later in the 20th Century.
Fossil distribution has been used as evidence for plate tectonics.
Mr Coram explained: “We think this is one of the first super-pterosaurs.
Michael Habib of the University of Southern California said: “Giants such as Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx stood as tall as a giraffe and had wingspans of more than 30ft.
“It seems unfathomable that birds of such sizes could fly.
“Unlike birds, which walk and jump into the air using only their hind limbs, pterosaurs walked on all fours.”
Mr Habib explained: “Mathematical modelling indicates that launching from a quadrupedal stance — pushing off first with the hind limbs and then with the forelimbs — would have provided the leaping power giant pterosaurs required for takeoff.
Pterosaurs were wiped out some 66million years ago by the same asteroid that resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs first appeared over 200million years ago.
In the early 1840s, anatomist Richard Owen came across the fossil in William Devonshire Saull’s geological collection.
Mr Owen coined the term dinosaur believing the fossil to be of a new species, which involved some species already known to geologists but not classified as dinosaurs.