China – the birthplace of flying dinosaurs


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More than 160 million years ago, the forests of ancient China were inhabited by strange creatures: tiny, predatory dinosaurs with leather wings like flying mice. These amazing creatures glided like birds among the trees. And they were birds with big membranes on their wings. Much later, in the 1860s, a few years after the publication of the Origin of Species, workers at a quarry in Bavaria removed a large stone slab and uncovered the skeleton of a strange creature buried there 150 million years ago. He had sharp claws, jaws with teeth and a long bony tail like a reptile. Above all, the scientists were surprised by the wings of a bird.

The English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, a follower of Darwin, suggested that the find named Archeopteryx oddly looks like small predatory dinosaurs of the genus Compsognathus, and took it radically. Huxley believed that the fossil found belongs to the ancestor of birds that could evolve from dinosaurs.

Since then 150 years have passed. A number of scientific discoveries around the world have proven Huxley right. In particular, it has been found in China that more fossils support the proposal of an English biologist than in any other country. The last on this long list was the small winged dinosaur found in Liaoning Province.

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Liaoning Province

A local farmer discovered Ambopteryx in 2017 near a village near Lingyuan, a city in Liaoning province in northeastern China. Immediately after the discovery of the fossil, experts suggested that the remains belong to the bird. However, further analysis revealed that scientists had a new dinosaur species.

Petrified fossil, later named Ambopteryx. This tiny dinosaur belongs to the family Scansoriopterigiden – small feathered dinosaurs with outstretched arms and very long fingers. With their help, they climbed and climbed trees.

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Scansoriopterigides were discovered in 1996. After them followed a series of Liaoning finds. In recent decades, more than 20 species of dinosaurs have been discovered there.

Scientists believe that many feathered members of this species in the region of evolution have made possible a smooth transition to modern birds. It is worth noting that the Chinese government strongly supports research in the region and all archaeological expeditions. Discoveries in Liaoning and other areas of China allow us to close the evolutionary gaps and build the evolutionary path the animals followed before they conquered the skies.

Maybe that's why there are so many flying dinosaurs in Chinese folklore.

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