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Chinese, Brazilian scientists name new flying reptiles to mark collaboration

Source: Xinhua | 2023-12-27
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Chinese, Brazilian scientists name new flying reptiles to mark collaboration

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- To commemorate the two-decade partnership between Chinese and Brazilian scientists, a flying reptile from the dinosaur era has been named Meilifeilong youhao, which translates as "beautiful dragon of friendship" in Mandarin.

According to a study published recently in the journal Scientific Reports, paleontologists from both nations discovered a new toothless pterosaur species based on two specimens, one of which is the most complete and well-preserved pterosaur ever recorded in Chaoyang city, northeast China's Liaoning Province.

Pterosaurs, or cousin of dinosaurs, were the first vertebrates to achieve powered flight. They fly using four extremely enlarged ring finger phalanges to support their membranes.

The well-preserved fossil represents an individual with a maximum wingspan of around 2.16 meters. According to the study, "Beautiful" was so named in reference to the remarkable fossil preservation.

This species also provides novel information on the unknown palatal region of this flying reptile found in this location, as well as the rarely preserved ear part with stapes.


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