Creepy but Cute: The Petit Pterosaur

Posted by Michael Pinto on Feb 13, 2008 in Science |

Illustration: Chuang Zhao — Tiny perching pterosaur

It’s amazing to think to think that the creature above isn’t a space alien but once upon time was flying around China:

Tiny perching pterosaur discovered

“A beautifully preserved fossil of a tiny pterosaur suggests that the giant pterodactyls that roamed the skies during the late Cretaceous period may have come from much smaller, tree-dwelling ancestors. The new fossil, which was discovered in 2004 in western Liaoning province, China, is about 120 million years old.

“This is a very, very complete specimen of an unusual little pterodactyl,” says Michael Caldwell, a vertebrate palaeontologist at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada. The new fossil also sheds some light on another mystery of pterosaur evolution – whether pterosaurs began to fly upwards from the ground, or whether they first climbed into trees and then began to glide downwards.”

Illustration by Chuang Zhao, found via Neatorama.

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