With everyone getting dino-delirious as Jurassic World ramps up its trailers and clips leading to a June 12 release, everything seems to be popping up primeval. In keeping with that theme, here's the latest find by a team of paleontologists in China in the form of a menacing new leather-winged creature that lived during the late Jurassic period.
Named Yi qi, or "strange-wing," the strange fossil has been studied by scientists at Linyi University in Shandong since 2013, and they've had difficulties coming up with any definitive classification for the creature. It was found by a farmer in China nine years ago and thought to be the only known specimen in existence. Yi qi is no enormous monster, and is roughly the size of a common pigeon, with fuzzy, leather-webbed wings that were possibly used to climb trees and glide across ancient forests like a flying squirrel with a bad attitude.
The long bones protruding from the fossil's wrists have been theorized to be part of a deployable membrane wing mechanism. Debate still continues as to whether the creature was able to flap its wings like a bird or simply soared from tree to tree looking for dinner. Part of the confusion is that flying prehistoric animals traditionally come in two varieties: Dinosaurs, which flew with feathery wings, and Pterosaurs, which flew with leathery wings. Yi qi appears to have attributes of both and could be a fascinating evolutionary convergence of those two categories.
Have a look at this explanatory video while the mystery marinates:
What do you think of this hybrid dino discovery, and can you see them starring in an upcoming Jurassic sequel?
(Via Gamma Squad)