The Flying Dino (video)

Nemicolopterus crypticus, originally uploaded by Roberto Alamino.

A winged dinosaur called Nemicolopterus crypticus has been discovered by experts in China

New Mini-Pterodactyl Among Smallest Known

A new species of miniature flying reptile that lived more than 120 million years ago has been unearthed in China, researchers announced today.

The newfound creature might provide clues to the evolution of later, more massive pterosaurs, the largest of which measured nearly 40 feet (12 meters) from wing tip to wing tip.

Pterosaurs, which had wings formed of skin rather than feathers, first appeared about 215 million years ago and are believed to be the first flying vertebrates.

The animals thrived even as Earth's tectonic forces split the supercontinent Pangaea into multiple continents and oceans about 200 million years ago.

Pterosaurs had evolved into many shapes and sizes by the time they went extinct—along with the dinosaurs—about 65 million years ago.

A team of Chinese and Brazilian paleontologists found the N. crypticus fossil preserved in the fine siltstone of an ancient waterway in northeastern China.

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