17 Dino-mite Nurhachius Facts That Kids Will Love

Sonali Rawat
Feb 13, 2023 By Sonali Rawat
Originally Published on Feb 13, 2023
Edited by Luca Demetriou
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Read these Nurhachius facts to learn more about the unique characteristics of the flying reptile.

Nurhachius is the name of a genus of pre-historic pterosaurs or flying reptiles. The genus belongs to the group or scientific suborder of pterodactyloid flying reptiles.

Nurhachius is also expected to be a basal member of the Istiodactylidae family of pterosaurs. The fossils of only two species of the genus, Nurhachius ignaciobritoi and Nurhachius luei, have been recovered.

The first species N. ignaciobritoi was named in 2005 by Zhou Zhonghe, Alexander Kellner, Wang Xiaolin, and Diogenes de Almeida Campos. N. luei was named in 2019 by Xuanyu Zhao, Maria E.C. Leal, Niels Bonde, and Rodrigo V. Pegas.

The genus name is based on the first emperor of the Qing Dynasty, Nurhaci. His kingdom was situated in the Jiufotang Formation, where the pterosaur fossils were found.

The type species' ignaciobritoi' is a tribute to paleontologist Ignácio Aureliano Machado Brito, who spearheaded the research of pterosaurs in Brazil. The species name 'luei' refers to a Chinese paleontologist named Lü Junchang, known for his expertise on Mesozoic reptiles.

Nurhachius Interesting Facts

How do you pronounce 'Nurhachius'?

Nur-ha-chi-us.

What type of dinosaur was a Nurhachius?

The Nurhachius were similar to the 'pterodactyl-like' pterosaurs. But Nurhachius is also different from most reptiles in the Pterodactylidae suborder. The pterosaurs had teeth in their jaws, which makes them related to the Istiodactylidae family. 

In which geological period did the Nurhachius roam the Earth?

The Nurhachius is believed to have soared the skies of Earth during the Early Cretaceous period, about 120 million years ago. The geological timeline is between the Barremian and Aptian ages. 

When did the Nurhachius become extinct?

The extinction period of the Nurhachius is unknown due to the lack of specific data on the creature.

Where did Nurhachius live?

More research is necessary to determine the livelihood of the Nurhachius since the geography of the Earth was very different several million years ago. Many Istiodactylids show a difference in teeth morphologies. If new Nurhachius fossils are discovered exhibiting dissimilar teeth morphology from existing specimens, it could mean that the flying reptiles had diverse feeding behaviors. 

What was the Nurhachius' habitat?

Since these flying reptiles were speculated as piscivorous creatures, they probably lived close to water bodies. Access to better-fossilized Nurhachius remains in the future might lead to a better understanding of their habitat. 

Who did the Nurhachius live with?

The social structure of the Nurhachius is unknown due to little knowledge about how these animals lived and whether they were solitary or social. If the Nurhachius were similar to modern-day scavenger birds, many might have coexisted in the same habitat.

These creatures thrived among several dinosaurs of the Early Cretaceous period, like Giganotosaurus, Pelorosaurus, Atlascopcosaurus, and Stenopelix.

How long did a Nurhachius live?

The lifespan of the Nurhachius cannot be calculated due to a lack of evidence.

How did they reproduce?

Facts about the reproductive process, gestation period, or incubation period of Nurhachius are unknown. Since they were reptiles, the Nurhachius underwent oviparous reproduction, giving birth to new hatchlings by laying eggs. 

Nurhachius Fun Facts

What did the Nurhachius look like?

Nurhachius appeared in the Early Cretaceous period and were one of the many flying reptiles that dominated the sky. The animal had a mix of features specific to Petrodactylids and Istiodactylids.

Like pterodactyls, the Nurhachius had an ample wingspan and an elongated skull. They appear more like Istiodactlys, having sideways compressed teeth and a large skull opening.

But unlike Istiodactyls, Nurhachius had a significantly lower skull, and their lower jaws seemed slightly curved at the upper margins. A distinguishing characteristic of the Nurhachius was the front tip of their palate, which was slightly curved upwards.

The teeth of these reptiles were curved backward. The upper jaws consisted of 28 teeth, and the lower jaws had 26 teeth, for a total of 54 teeth.

Nurhachius were flying reptiles!

How many bones did a Nurhachius have?

The complete skeletal structure of this species is unknown due to the lack of complete fossils of the two specimens of the Nurhachius. The discovered fossil of Nurhachius ignaciobritoi was a partial skeleton comprising the skull, upper and lower jaws, postcranial skeleton, and some postcranial elements.

In the case of Nurhachius luei, its fossilized remains included a complete skull, lower jaw, and seven cervical vertebrae.

How did they communicate?

Nurhachius' communication method is still unknown.

How big was the Nurhachius?

The exact size of the Nurhachius is unknown. As per its wingspan, the length of the pterosaur might have been approximately 7.8 - 8.2 ft (240 - 250 cm). 

How fast could a Nurhachius move?

The lack of data makes it impossible to determine the flight speed of the Nurhachiuus.

How much did a Nurhachius weigh?

The weight of a Nurhachius is estimated to be around 8.8 lb (4 kg). 

What were the male and female names of the species?

The species has not been studied extensively enough to name either the male or the female gender.

What would you call a baby Nurhachius?

A baby Nurhachius has no particular name and can be generally referred to as a hatchling.

How aggressive were they?

As a carnivore species, the Nurhachius might have been aggressive hunters with sharp talons that helped it swoop in and grab terrestrial or aquatic prey from the densely populated ecosystem of the Jurassic period.

Did you know…

Istiodactylus is the only family of pterosaurs known for more than a century. However, this changed with the discovery of three new species in the last 15 years. Istidactylidae is a family of flying reptiles distinguished by their long skulls.

Over the years, the Jiufotang Formation birthed the discovery of 23 pterosaur species. Several other families of flying reptiles from many other parts of the earth represent the scientific order of Pterosauria. 

The specimen, Nurhachius luei, was found in the upper part of the Liaoning province of Chaoyang City in China. This discovery introduced a second type-species of Nurhachius.

 

*We've been unable to source an image of Nurhachius and have used an image of Pterodactylus antiquus instead. If you are able to provide us with a royalty-free image of Nurhachius, we would be happy to credit you. Please contact us at hello@kidadl.com.

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Sources

https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/f099/43623f37efc7972c7f526a732654fd7c7689.pdf

http://www.prehistoric-wildlife.com/species/n/nurhachius.html

https://www.pteros.com/pterosaurs/nurhachius.html

https://dinosaurpictures.org/Nurhachius-pictures

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nurhachius

https://carnivora.net/nurhachius-spp-t7152.html

https://palaeo-electronica.org/content/2020/2931-a-new-istiodactylid-pterosaur

https://fossil.fandom.com/wiki/Nurhachius

https://peerj.com/articles/13819/

https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Xiaolin-Wang-18/publication/7557894_Pterosaur_diversity_in_Cretaceous_terrestrial_ecosystems_in_China/links/0deec52817f9164096000000/Pterosaur-diversity-in-Cretaceous-terrestrial-ecosystems-in-China.pdf

https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/laelaps/new-pterosaur-was-fossilized-with-a-ridiculous-grin/

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Written by Sonali Rawat

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali Rawat picture

Sonali RawatBachelor of Arts specializing in English Literature, Masters of Art specializing in English and Communication Skills

Sonali has a Bachelor's degree in English literature from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University and is currently pursuing a Master's in English and Communication from Christ University. With considerable experience in writing about lifestyle topics, including travel and health, she has a passion for Japanese culture, especially fashion, and anime, and has written on the subject before. Sonali has event managed a creative-writing festival and coordinated a student magazine at her university. Her favorite authors are Toni Morrison and Anita Desai.

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