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Palaeontology

Pterodactyl fossil reveals complex flight

By T.K. Randall
August 10, 2009 · Comment icon 5 comments



Image Credit: John Conway
Studies of a pterodactyl fossil have shown that the creature had complex wing fibers that would have enabled it to fly with the same precision as modern birds. Flying reptiles dominated the prehistoric skies 220 million years ago.
A fossil of a pterodactyl, 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.


Source: Telegraph | Comments (5)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Abramelin 14 years ago
Makes you wonder why they died out, and birds did not...
Comment icon #2 Posted by TALM 14 years ago
That looks like a flying monkey.
Comment icon #3 Posted by donehung 14 years ago
The first question that comes to my mind is, if these were in fact the first flying animals how could they have such complex flight. I was under the impression that according to the laws of "evolution" the first flyers would have had rudimentary flight capabilities.
Comment icon #4 Posted by ShadowSot 14 years ago
The first question that comes to my mind is, if these were in fact the first flying animals how could they have such complex flight. I was under the impression that according to the laws of "evolution" the first flyers would have had rudimentary flight capabilities. This specimen was not the first flying animal, they don't give a date range for this one, but they were present up until the end of the dinosaurs. Aside from this species going extinct, a side order of birds also went out around the same time.
Comment icon #5 Posted by BaneSilvermoon 14 years ago
I've been wondering when we'd start seeing more results coming out from this. As far as being the first flying animal. Dinosaurs, in the form you think of when someoen says the word, are thought to have started showing up somewhere around 230 million years ago. The Paleozoic covered about a 300 million year span before that. A wee bit of a stretch to assume there were no winged animals during that 300 million years?


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