Scientists at the University of Bath have discovered a new species of pterosaur, the flying reptiles that roamed the Earth millions of years ago.
The turkey-sized animal was discovered during a dig in Morocco, when scientists unearthed a fossilised piece of beak.
The find was so unusual, it was initially believed to have come from the fin spine of a fish.
But upon closer inspection, paleontologists from the University of Bath and University of Portsmouth realised they had found part of a pterosaur's beak.
Professor David Martill, who co-authored a study on the find, said: “We’ve never seen anything like this little pterosaur before.
“The bizarre shape of the beak was so unique, at first the fossils weren’t recognised as a pterosaur.”
The pterosaur - which has been officially named Leptostomia begaaensis - was similar in size to a turkey and used its distinctive beak to probe dirt and mud for its prey.
Leptostomia may actually have been a fairly common pterosaur, but it’s so strange - people have probably been finding bits of this beast for years, but we didn’t know what they were until now.
What is a pterosaur?
Pterosaurs are the less well-known cousins of dinosaurs. Over 100 species of these winged reptiles are known, some as large as a fighter jet and others as small as a sparrow.