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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Paleontologists have found an ancient flying lizard the size of a cat

In a time when the Earth was inhabited by dinosaurs and other giant scary lizards in their ranks wormed very small and, apparently, looks quite lovely flying creatures. The existence during the Mesozoic pterosaur the size of a cat according to recent data of paleontologists.

photo: pixabay.com

Scientists representing the University of Southampton have managed to find a previously unknown species of pterosaurs — flying reptiles that inhabited our planet during the Mesozoic and were in close relationship with dinosaurs. Feature of the new view was that it adults, apparently, resembled the size of an average domestic cat. Until now, various professionals were able to find only very large pterosaurs. Their wingspan ranged from four to eleven meters. The largest specimen of known size resembled a giraffe, and a wingspan of a small plane. All this has allowed some experts to suggest that even the smallest of the species included in this group, surpassed in size any of the modern species of birds. Recent discovery, however, may force this view to be revised.

As expected, the individual, the remains of which the team was able to find, lived about 77 million years ago, when the era of pterosaurs was already setting. The growth of the new species reached 30 centimeters, and the wingspan of a relatively modest five feet. It had a beak without teeth. Features of the structure and composition of the bones indicate that the animal has reached adulthood.

Yet finally exclude the version that the fossils actually belonged to several different animals, but of identical age and degree of preservation of the remains allows us to consider this assumption unlikely.

According to experts, despite the rather mediocre state of the remains, the find is very valuable, since the bones of pterosaurs were very fragile, and therefore had little chance to survive to the present day in any form.

Paleontologists have published his scientific work in the journal Royal Society Open Science.


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