20 abr 2021 04:38 GMT
The new species of pterosaur inhabited the Earth during the Mesozoic era in what is now the territory of China.
An international group of paleontologists discovered in the Tiaojishan Formation, located in the Chinese province of Hebei, in the north of the country, the first known specimen of ‘Sinomacrops bondei’, a new and peculiar species of pterosaur with such strange appearance that it recalls characters of Science fiction.
The newly discovered specimen, detail scientists in their most recent study published in PeerJ, belongs to the anurognathid family, a group of ancient warm-blooded reptiles considered the first known vertebrates to develop active flight. These, it is estimated, inhabited the Earth during the Mesozoic era, ago between 228 and 66 million of years.
During the investigations, the academics obtained more than 2,000 computed tomography images of the skeleton, which still had soft tissue, and were thus able to reconstruct the appearance of the small creature about 9 centimeters in size.
The synomacrops were characterized by large round eyes, a short, stubby serrated chin, as well as broad wings, a thin tail, and skin covered in hair-like filaments known as pycnofibers.
Likewise, after analyzing and comparing the results of the phylogenetic analyzes, they showed that it was a new species of anurognathid, only the sixth of this family that is known. These are believed to be a version of Jurassic bats that fed on insects in low light conditions.
Despite being a voracious predator, its small size and strange appearance have caused some Internet users to have found it a certain resemblance to science fiction characters, such as the ‘porgs’, the small extraterrestrial creatures from’ Star Wars: The Last Jedi ‘.
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