Joined: Jan. 2006
The full article is @ LiveScience
|Paleontologists have discovered a new small gliding reptile in 220 million-year-old sediments of a quarry on the Virginia-North Carolina border. The new creature is named Mecistotrachelos apeoros, meaning "soaring, long-necked" and is about the size of a blue jay from head to tail.|
"One of the really neat things about the new glider is the feet,” said Nick Fraser of the Virginia Museum of Natural History, who discovered the two fossils. “They are preserved in a hooked posture which is unusual and strongly suggests a grasping habit. I'm convinced it was using its hind limbs for grasping branches."
Fraser noted that the Triassic Period reptile probably fed on insects, scuttling up tree trunks and foraging on the way, before gliding onto neighboring trees. Two other reptiles with similar gliding membranes are known from the Triassic, but Fraser noted that they have much shorter necks and therefore are more like modern gliding lizards.
The findings are detailed in the latest issue of the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology.
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