The Sun We See and One We Don’t

Near Wubaiding Village, Liaoning Province, China, paleontologists discovered a 163-million-year-old dinosaur fossil.

Research shows it belongs to scansoriopterygids, a group of tiny dinosaurs generally reconstructed as feathered tree climbers.

Unlike its relatives, Ambopteryx longibrachium had membranous wings supported by a styliform.

Researchers believe the dinosaur may have glided from trees. The bat-like wings were probably a short-lived design, tried before the later predominance of feathered wings.

Research:
A new Jurassic scansoriopterygid and the loss of membranous wings in theropod dinosaurs
Min Wang, Jingmai K. O’Connor, Xing Xu & Zhonghe Zhou
Nature, DOI 10.1038/s41586-019-1137-z
Photo and 3-D reconstruction: Min Wang, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Life reconstruction: Chung-Tat Cheung

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