Page last updated at 05:00 GMT, Monday, 17 August 2009 06:00 UK

How to build a giant winged reptile

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Over the course of the next 12 months, the BBC will be following a team of researchers from Portsmouth University as they build five giant pterosaur models.

The life-size models of the flying giants - the largest of which will have a wing span of 10m - will eventually go on display at the Southbank Centre, London, for the Royal Society's Summer Exhibition.

Recreating replicas of the pterosaurs, which dominated the skies from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (220 to 65.5 million years ago), brings a whole host of scientific, technical and engineering challenges.

In the first video of this series, researcher Mark Witton explains how the team have created their design using fossil fragments, and reveals the foam building blocks that will eventually transform into a towering beast.

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