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Life reconstruction of the head and neck of the lagerpetid Ixalerpeton from the Triassic  (ca. 233 million years ago) of southern Brazil. (Rodolfo Nogueira)

A new Nature study reveals that lagerpetids —an ancient group of small reptiles that lived about 237-210 million years ago— are more closely related to pterosaurs (flying reptiles) than any other known group in the animal kingdom. The recent discovery of lagerpetid skull, mandible and forelimb remains from America and Madagascar fills in a critical gap in the fossil record between pterosaurs and other reptiles. The brains and inner ears of pterosaurs and lagerpetids are similar, suggesting that some of the specialization in pterosaur sensory systems evolved prior to flight.

A new study led by Borja Holgado, research collaborator at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), brings a new focus on the understanding of anhanguerids, a lineage of large toothed pterosaurs characterized by blade-like crests at the tip of their snouts. The research has been published in Acta Paleontologica Polonica.

Un equip internacional de paleontòlegs que inclou Borja Holgado i Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, investigadors associats a l’Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP) ha descrit el nou gènere i espècie de pterosaure Mimodactylus libanensis. La recerca, publicada a la revista Scientific Reports s’ha basat en l’esquelet més complet d’aquests animals extingits que s’ha descobert fins ara a l’antic continent afroàrab.

An international team of paleontologists including Borja Holgado and Fabio M. Dalla Vecchia, associate researchers at the Institut Català de Paleontologia Miquel Crusafont (ICP), has described a new genus and species of pterosaur, Mimodactylus libanensis. It is based on the most complete skeleton of these extinct animals ever discovered from the Afro-Arabian continent to date.

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