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  • Published
    11th Dec, 2020


Scientists clarify origins of pterosaurs, the dinosaur era's flying reptiles.

What is Pterosaur?

  • Pterosaurs were flying reptiles of the extinct clade or order Pterosauria.
  • They existed during the Mesozoic era.
  • Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight.
  • Their wings were formed by a membrane of skin, muscle, and other tissues stretching from the ankles to a dramatically lengthened fourth finger.
  • It is a connecting link between the reptiles and the birds and hence suggests that the birds have evolved from the reptiles.

What is about the new discovery?

  • The oldest-known pterosaurs appear in the fossil record about 220 million years ago.
  • The scanning technology and three-dimensional modeling was used to study it.
  • The researchers identified at least 33 skeletal traits suggesting an evolutionary link between lagerpetids and pterosaurs.
  • Lagerpetids are the closest-known relatives to pterosaurs and bridge the anatomical gap between pterosaurs and other reptiles.