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New Mini-Pterodactyl Among Smallest Known
Kevin Holden Platt in Beijing, China
for National Geographic News
A new species of miniature flying reptile that lived more than 120 million years ago has been unearthed in China, researchers announced today.
The mini-pterosaur, dubbed Nemicolopterus crypticus, had a wingspan of only 10 inches (25 centimeters)—about the size of a modern sparrow.
This is "one of the smallest pterosaurs known," said co-discoverer Alexander Kellner, an adjunct professor at the Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
The newfound creature might provide clues to the evolution of later, more massive pterosaurs, the largest of which measured nearly 40 feet (12 meters) from wing tip to wing tip.
Read the rest on National Geographic News.