Yet another new fossil discovered, revealed some new facts of ancient life. A new fossil of an ancient arboreal lizard reveals that they used to coast through the air with the help of a wing-like membrane, which they used to stretch across their elongated ribs.
The gliding membrane — called a ‘patagium,’ – could be stretched across eight elongated dorsal ribs! If expanded fully, the layer of stretchy skin would have spanned about 4.5 inches across!
Discovered in the Liaoning Province in northeastern China, Xing Xu of Shenyang Normal University in China and his colleagues described the fossil. The site has a reputation of yielding a treasure trove of feathered dinosaurs and early bird remains in recent years.
This gliding lizard lived about 150 million years ago – i.e. during the Early Cretaceous period. This newly found fossil is about 6 inches long. Its immature features suggest that it died at a young age.
A detailed study on the fossil is published in the March 19 issue of the journal for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.