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THE FLYING VERTEBRATES  ~220 million years


Pterosaurs (from the Greek pterosauros, meaning "winged lizard", often referred to as pterodactyls, from the Greek pterodaktulos, meaning "winged finger") were flying reptiles of the clade or order Pterosauria. They existed from the late Triassic to the end of the Cretaceous Period (220 to 65.5 million years ago). Pterosaurs are the earliest vertebrates known to have evolved powered flight. Their wings were formed by a membrane of skin, muscle, and other tissues stretching from the legs to a dramatically lengthened fourth finger. Early species had long, fully-toothed jaws and long tails, while later forms had a highly reduced tail, and some lacked teeth. Many sported furry coats made up of hair-like filaments known as pycnofibres, which covered their bodies and parts of their wings. Pterosaurs spanned a wide range of adult sizes, from the very small Nemicolopterus to the largest known flying creatures of all time, including Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx. (click to see all the article on Wikipedia) 

會飛的脊椎動物 ~22千萬年前

翼龍(從希臘文pterosauros而來,意為有翼的蜥蜴,通常被稱為翼手龍,從希臘文pterodaktulos而來,意為有翼的手指” )是飛行爬行生物的一支,或是歸屬於翼龍目中。牠們存在的時期從三疊紀末期到白堊紀結束(22千萬年前到6550萬年前)。翼龍是已知最早進化到能夠飛行的脊椎動物。牠們的翅膀由皮膜,肌肉,以及從腿到明顯增長的無名指(第四指)連結的其他組織所組成。早期的物種有著充滿長而齊全的牙齒的下顎,以及長尾巴,晚期的物種則有大為縮短的尾巴,和較缺乏的牙齒。由毛髮般細絲構成的毛絨絨大衣被稱為濃密的纖維,覆蓋於身體及部份翅膀。不同翼龍的成年尺寸差距相當的大,從相當小的森林翼龍到至今所知最大的飛行生物,包括了風神翼龍和哈特茲哥翼龍等。




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