Sharovipteryx mirabilis, early gliding reptile
Sharovipteryx mirabilis, early gliding reptile
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Sharovipteryx mirabilis, early gliding reptile

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Pronounced (shahr-ov-IP-ter-iks) Sharovipteryx (meaning "Sharov's wings"), aka Podopteryx, was a Pterosauromorpha (a gliding thecodont, a pre-pterosaur) from the early Triassic period, about 245 million years ago. Sharovipteryx was a gliding animal that used its uropatagium, a small, fibrous flap of skin that stretched from the very long legs and the tail. It had large eyes, a long snout, and small triangular teeth. A single fossil (together with some skin impressions) was found in Madygen, Kirghizia, Asia. Sharovipteryx was named by Cowen in 1981 (to honor the paleontologist Alexander Sharov, who found the fossil in 1971, and originally called it Podopteryx). The type species is S. mirabilis. It was approximately eight inches long, with an extremely long tail, and weighed about 7.5 grams. It may have been related � or perhaps even ancestral � to pterosaurs, although this remains controversial. Unlike pterosaurs, its main flight membrane was stretched between long back legs rather than its very short front limbs.
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