Small pterosaur discovered in China

This video is called Pterosaur tribute.

From the BBC:

Flying reptiles came in miniature

A new fossil species of flying reptile with a wingspan of less than 30cm (1ft) has been discovered in China.

The nearly complete articulated skeleton was unearthed in fossil beds from north-eastern China.

The 120-million-year-old reptile had not reached adulthood when it died, but neither was it a hatchling.

Study of the fossil suggests it is one of the smallest pterosaurs known, a team says in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The new species has been named Nemicolopterus crypticus, which means “hidden flying forest dweller”.

The researchers from Brazil and China say the toothless, sparrow-sized specimen contains several unique anatomical features that distinguish it from other pterosaurs (ancient flying reptiles).

For example, some of the foot bones are curved in a way not seen in other members of this reptile group. This, say the authors, indicates the pint-sized creature spent much of its time living in the trees.

Pterodaustro, another pterosaur species: here.


A Reappraisal of Azhdarchid Pterosaur Functional Morphology and Paleoecology: here.

A new genus of pterosaur, Lacusovagus (“lake wanderer”), in Brazil: here. And here.

2 thoughts on “Small pterosaur discovered in China

  1. Ancient pterosaurs were skilled fliers

    Wed Aug 5, 2009 2:49pm EDT

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – A fossil found in China of a pterosaur, the earliest known flying vertebrate, shows the creatures had unique and complex wing fibers that enabled them to fly with the precision and control of birds, researchers said on Wednesday.

    The finding by a team of Brazilian, German, Chinese and British researchers backs up the theory that the reptiles that dominated the skies from up to 220 million years ago, also known as pterodactyls, were not just basic gliders.

    A new technique that involves shining ultra-violet rays on the well-preserved fossil found in Inner Mongolia brought out a detailed view of the tissue in the pterosaur’s wing, researchers said at a news conference on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro.

    They also found hair-like fibers different from any other animal’s that covered the creature’s body and part of its wings. This could have helped the animals control their body temperature and shows they were warm-blooded, said Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at Brazil’s National Museum in Rio.

    “They are different from other furs we find in mammals and they provide us another hint that these animals were able to control their body temperature, they were hot-blooded animals,” said Alexander Kellner, a paleontologist at Brazil’s National Museum in Rio.

    “This is of great importance to understanding how the pterosaur functioned.”

    The UV analysis of the fossil showed that the creature had several layers of fibers to control its wings, rather than one as previously thought, suggesting it had more stability and control over its flight than flying animals such as bats.

    The pterosaurs, which ranged in size from small up to the largest creatures known to have flown, went extinct about 65 million years ago, around the same time as the mass extinction of dinosaurs.

    (Reporting by Stuart Grudgings and Alice Pereira; Editing by Phil Stewart)


  2. Pingback: Fake Italian dragon, pterosaur or dog? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.