The detailed fossil of the gliding mammal Maiopatagium furculiferum clearly shows furry membranes connected to its arms and legs.
Rare Fossils Reveal New Species of Ancient Gliding Mammals
Two exquisitely preserved finds from the Jurassic provide new clues to the evolution of airborne animals.
It’s not a bird or a plane—it’s more like a souped-up squirrel.
This week, paleontologists unveiled two remarkable new species of dainty gliding mammals that lived alongside dinosaurs nearly 160 million years ago.
While they are not the first mammalian gliders known from this time period, these specimens are unique because they have thin, furry membranes of skin attached to their front and back limbs that are clearly preserved in the rock.
“It is pretty obvious from looking at these fossils that they are gliders, due to the carbonized skin,” says study coauthor David Grossnickle, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Chicago.
Named Maiopatagium furculiferum and Vilevolodon diplomyos, the two new species are offering clues to the ways various mammals