// Required code

Announcement

Collapse

Natural Science 301 Guidelines

This is an open forum area for all members for discussions on all issues of science and origins. This area will and does get volatile at times, but we ask that it be kept to a dull roar, and moderators will intervene to keep the peace if necessary. This means obvious trolling and flaming that becomes a problem will be dealt with, and you might find yourself in the doghouse.

As usual, Tweb rules apply. If you haven't read them now would be a good time.

Forum Rules: Here
See more
See less

Newly discovered pterodactyloid is earliest one known

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Newly discovered pterodactyloid is earliest one known

    Researchers have announced the discovery of the fossilized remains of the earliest and basalmost pterodactyloid known and which lived roughly 163 mya (at the boundary of the Middle and Late Jurassic), at least 5 million years earlier than previously known.

    Pterodactyloidea are one of the two suborders of pterosaurs, an order of extinct winged reptiles that existed from the Late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (228 to 66 mya), were the earliest reptiles to evolve powered flight and were also the largest known flying creatures to have ever existed.

    It was found in the mudstone of the Shishugou Formation of Xinjiang located in northwest China, 35 meters (115') below an ash bed in the well-known Junggar Basin dinosaur traps (popularly called the "dinosaur death pits").

    The researchers, led by paleontologist Brian Andres of the University of South Florida's School of Geosciences, named the pterodactyloid Kryptodrakon progenitor. Its genus or first name comes from "Krypto" (hidden) and "drakon" (serpent), referring to the movie “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” which was filmed near where the species was discovered. Its species name means ancestral or first-born, referring to its status as the earliest known pterodactyloid.

    The fossilized partial skeleton is very fragmentary though in good condition, lacking the skull and consisting of pieces from both wings, parts of the shoulder girdle and the second sacral vertebra.

    The sparse remains led to it originally being tentatively identified as having come from a theropod but the researchers were able to identify it as a the first pterosaur to bear the characteristics of the Pterodactyloidea because the fragments included a signature bone in its palm, the right fourth metacarpal, that was gracile and elongated and used for walking and flying.

    In early pterosaurs, the bone was very short, attaches to the "pinkie" and varied very little among individuals whereas in pterodactyloids it was considerably longer, attached to the "ring finger" and varied significantly.

    "This guy is the very first pterodactyloid — he has the last features that changed before the group radiated and took over the world," noted Andres.

    Pterosaur finger bones helped determine the shape of the wing, and the change in this bone may have allowed pterodactyloids' wings to be better adapted to their environment therefore leading to their dominance of the skies.

    Since neither the skull or any teeth were found Kryptodrakon's diet cannot be definitively determined. In any case, its relatives are known to have consumed insects, fish and even the young of apex predators which indicates that Kryptodrakon was probably a carnivore.

    Kryptodrakon likely had a wingspan of around 54" (1.37 meters), considerably less than the creature's enormous descendants, such as Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx, whose wingspans stretched to 10 meters (32') in length — which is as large as a small airplane.




    Further Reading:

    The Earliest Pterodactyloid and the Origin of the Group Abstract

    Oldest pterodactyloid species discovered: Primitive flying reptile took wing 163 million years ago

    Tiny Flying Reptile Ancestor to Giant Pterodactyls Found

    International Research Team Names Most Primitive Species Of Flying Reptile

    Meet Kryptodrakon: Oldest Known Pterodactyl Found in China

    Oldest Pterodactyl Species, Kryptodrakon Progenitor, Discovered In China

    'Hidden Dragon' Beast Gave Rise to Fearsome Flying Reptiles

    I'm always still in trouble again

    "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
    "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

  • #2
    Thanks for the cool info!

    Another "missing link" found.. But now this creates two more gaps for anti-evolutionists to yap about.

    BTW, these are scary critters! No wonder Noah didn't take them on the Ark.

    K54

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by klaus54 View Post
      Thanks for the cool info!

      Another "missing link" found.. But now this creates two more gaps for anti-evolutionists to yap about.

      I'm always still in trouble again

      "You're by far the worst poster on TWeb" and "TWeb's biggest liar" --starlight (the guy who says Stalin was a right-winger)
      "Of course, human life begins at fertilization that’s not the argument." --Tassman

      Comment


      • #4
        Just to add to that thought. Gaps are measured in units of time. As the number of specimens and gaps go up, the average time interval is reduced but the sum over all the gaps remains constant and is just the interval between the first and last specimen in the sequence. The fidelity of the fossil record at any particular location is really determined by gap length.
        “I think God, in creating man, somewhat overestimated his ability.” ― Oscar Wilde
        “And if there were a God, I think it very unlikely that He would have such an uneasy vanity as to be offended by those who doubt His existence” ― Bertrand Russell
        “not all there” - you know who you are

        Comment

        Related Threads

        Collapse

        Topics Statistics Last Post
        Started by shunyadragon, 10-17-2020, 05:11 PM
        7 responses
        30 views
        0 likes
        Last Post rogue06
        by rogue06
         
        Started by shunyadragon, 10-09-2020, 09:25 PM
        0 responses
        21 views
        0 likes
        Last Post shunyadragon  
        Started by rogue06, 10-09-2020, 03:29 PM
        6 responses
        50 views
        1 like
        Last Post shunyadragon  
        Started by shunyadragon, 10-07-2020, 12:11 PM
        0 responses
        10 views
        0 likes
        Last Post shunyadragon  
        Started by Sherman, 10-06-2020, 03:31 PM
        33 responses
        212 views
        0 likes
        Last Post Leonhard  
        Working...
        X