Mon, Mar 10, 2014 - Page 12 News List

Classic Jurassic

Recently unearthed fossils in northeastern China offer portal into the past

By Will Dunham  /  Reuters, Washington

The mammal Volaticotherium boasted a membrane between its arms and legs that enabled it to glide from trees. It was the Jurassic equivalent of a flying squirrel — except that today’s flying squirrels do not have to steer clear of dinosaurs.

Another mammal, Castorocauda, was semi-aquatic and looked a bit like a beaver. It had a broad scaly tail — like a beaver’s — and webbed feet for swimming but belonged to a completely different and now extinct group of mammals.

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