December 18, 2008—Africa's Sahara desert has yielded two potentially new prehistoric species to explorers who traveled 5,000 miles (8,000 kilometers) over mountains and through sandstorms to a site in southeastern Morocco.
Their reward: new types of sauropod (top) and pterosaur both of which lived almost a hundred million years ago, in the Cretaceous period.
The team unearthed a three-foot-high (one-meter-high) bone from the sauropod (bottom), which means the long-necked herbivore was almost 65 feet (20 meters) in length.
"From our initial examination on site, we're almost certain that we have a new species on our hands," said team leader Nizar Ibrahim, of University College Dublin, in a statement.
Of the pterosaur—a flying reptile—the researchers found a large fragment of beak.
"Most pterosaur discoveries are just fragments of teeth and bone, so it was thrilling to find a large part of a beak, and this was enough to tell us we probably have a new species," Ibrahim said.