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February 12, 2008

Flying reptile Nemicolopterus crypticus and Ginkgo

This illustration shows a newfound "mini pterodactyl," which lived in the canopies of ancient ginkgo forests in what is now China about 120 million years ago. The sparrow-size Nemicolopterus crypticus, whose discovery was announced this week by Chinese and Brazilian scientists, is one of the smallest pterosaurs known. This fossil “opens a new chapter on the evolutionary history of this group of [flying] reptiles,” said study lead author Alexander Kellner, of the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
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