Pterosaurs, dinosaurs and birds combine to put ornithodira deriving from common ancient ancestors. One such ancestral species and is, apparently, a tiny Kongonaphon kely.
Dinosaurs reigned on the land and flying pterosaurs, which then dominated in the air, has a very impressive size. However, their common ancestors could be petite. This indicates the new finding, presented in an article published in the journal PNAS. Fossil preserved remains of an ancient lizard with a maximum height of 10 centimeters: the scientists gave him the name Kongonaphon kely that can be translated as “little big killer.”
Sample found the team at the American Museum of natural history in South-West Madagascar in 1998. “It took some time to ensure that we could deal with these remains, says John Flynn (John Flynn), who led a group of paleontologists, but barely started it, we realized that we are dealing with something absolutely unique.”
K. Oliver dated 237 million years. He was not the first such miniature representative of the early ornithodira, but if until now, scientists believed that dealing with exceptions, it now became clear that the small size was more characteristic of these animals. Scientists suggest that the ancestors of dinosaurs and pterosaurs, experiencing strong competitive pressure, miniaturepoodles and adapted to eating insects, as is suggested by the structure of the teeth K. Oliver.
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The fossil also preserved the traces of the outer cover, which preceded the emergence of filaments and feathers, pterosaurs and dinosaurs. It seems that it began to be used for thermoregulation have these ancient ancestors. The temperature in this miniature body harder than large ones, and the Triassic period, when lived these ornithodira, distinguished by strong climatic fluctuations. Perhaps this spurred the development of their integuments, which later was inherited by the dinosaurs and pterosaurs.