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Largest ever flying creatures had longer necks than giraffes – we found out how these pterosaurs kept their heads up

By David Martill, Professor of ​Palaeobiology, University of Portsmouth
Cariad Williams, PhD Candidate, Paleoentomology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
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A lot of animals alive today have long necks. Giraffes, of course, are the best known example. But in the past, animals roamed the Earth that made giraffes look like amateur competitors in the longest neck competition.

The top prize goes to the sauropod dinosaurs, including the Diplodocus, Brachiosaurus and Brontosaurus, of which some members had necks stretching up to 11 metres (36 feet) long. Second are the marine reptiles, plesiosaurs, with necks reaching seven metres, and third is the bizarre-looking extinct reptile Tanystropheus with a three-metre…


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