Wednesday, May 8, 2019

"Another Bat-Winged Dinosaur Has Been Found"

It was a stunning discovery, which broke a neat divide between two styles of prehistoric flight. The dinosaurs took to the skies by transforming insulating fuzz into elegant, flattened feathers, and eventually giving rise to birds. The pterosaurs—often bundled together with dinosaurs, but actually a very different kind of reptile—did so by lengthening their fingers to support membranes, creating a style of wing that bats later reinvented. But Yi straddled both worlds. It was a dinosaur that independently evolved the leathery wings of pterosaurs, and covered their leading edges with fuzzy proto-feathers.