Archaeologists in China have uncovered a dinosaur with bat-like wings, a specimen which is the first of its kind found anywhere in the world.
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Discovered by a local farmer in Eastern China, this finding has been causing waves of excitement across the scientific world because it is the first skeleton of its kind to feature membranous wings and could suggest that dinosaurs tried to fly in numerous ways before some species evolved into birds. Although other dinosaur skeletons have been discovered with bird-like feathers, this is the first of its kind to feature wings of this type.
Featured same skeleton style as flying bats and squirrels
Called ‘Yi Qi’, which translates to ‘strange wing’ in Chinese, it shared a similar skeleton with that of flying squirrels and bats – featuring a long bone connected to each wrist which supported the wings. It is thought that the dinosaur would have weighed slightly less than a pigeon.
According to a paper which was created following the study, it’s believed that the dinosaur may have been capable of a flapping flight or gliding, or even a mixture of both. However, the authors of the paper did say that it was more likely that Yi Qi glided rather than flapped, as the wings showed minimal signs of muscle expansion. Despite this, there is not enough conclusive evidence to say how the creature actually used its wings.
Yi Qi is a member of the Scansoriopterygids family, the smallest known dinosaurs which were feathered and lived in trees. Although many believed that they had not been able to fly, this new discovery could see archaeologists and historians referring to these creatures in a completely different manner.
While it’s not yet sure what will be done with the skeleton, it will likely be housed in a museum for locals and visitors on their luxury China holidays to admire.
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