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Gliding Mechanism in the Late Permian Reptile Coelurosauravus

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Science  07 Mar 1997:
Vol. 275, Issue 5305, pp. 1450-1452
DOI: 10.1126/science.275.5305.1450

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Abstract

A complete skeleton of the oldest known flying reptile, Coelurosauravus jaekeli, from the Upper Permian of Germany, and reexamination of other specimens demonstrate that this animal had a gliding apparatus unlike that of any other tetrapod. The lateral gliding membrane was supported by radially disposed, greatly elongated bony rods of dermal origin in the thoracolumbar region, rather than by internal skeletal elements such as ribs and limb bones. The rods are independent of the ribcage and arranged in distinct bundles to form a cambered wing.

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