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Triassic specimen found to be early relative of pterosaurs a century after its discovery


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

A new study of a tiny Triassic fossil reptile first discovered over 100 years ago in the north east of Scotland has revealed it to be a close relative of the species that would become pterosaurs—iconic flying reptiles of the age of the dinosaurs.

The results reveal new anatomical details that conclusively identify it as a close pterosaur relative. It falls within a group known as Pterosauromorpha, comprising an extinct group of reptiles called lagerpetids together with pterosaurs.

Living approximately 240 -210 million years ago, lagerpetids were a group of relatively small (cat or small dog-sized) active reptiles. Schleromochlus was smaller still at under 20 centimeters in length. The results support the hypothesis that the first flying reptiles evolved from small, likely bipedal ancestors.

https://phys.org/news/2022-10-triassic-specimen-early-relative-pterosaurs.html

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-022-05284-x

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