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.