China — the birthplace of the flying dinosaurs

More than 160 million years ago, forests of ancient China was inhabited by strange creatures: the tiny, carnivorous dinosaurs, with leather wings like the flying mice. These amazing creatures gliding between the trees like birds. And they were birds with large webbed wings. Much later, in the 1860-ies, a few years after the publication of the “Origin of species”, working in a quarry in Bavaria took out a large stone slab, revealing the skeleton of a strange creature, and was buried 150 million years ago. He had sharp claws, jaws with teeth, long bony tail like a reptile. But most scientists were surprised by the wings of a bird.

English biologist Thomas Henry Huxley, a follower of Darwin, suggested that the discovery, named Archaeopteryx strangely similar to the small carnivorous dinosaur of the genus Compsognathus, and made a radical suggestion. Huxley believed that the found fossil belongs to the ancestor of birds could evolve from dinosaurs.

Since 150 years have passed. A series of scientific discoveries around the world have proven the correctness of Huxley. In China, in particular, found more fossils, confirming the assumption of the English biologist than in any other country. The latest in this long list was a small winged dinosaur found in the Liaoning province.

Province Liaoning

A local farmer found Amberica in 2017 near the village near the Lingyuan city in Liaoning province in northeast China. Immediately after the fossil finds, experts have suggested that the remains belong to the bird. But further analysis showed that the scientists brought a new kind of dinosaur.

A petrified fossil, which subsequently received the name of Ammoperdix. This tiny the dinosaur belongs to the family of scansoriopterygids — small feathered dinosaurs that had outstretched arms and very long fingers. With their help, they climbed and climbed trees.

Scansoriopterygidae was opened in 1996. It followed a series of Liaoning findings. Over the past decade, there were found more than 20 species of dinosaurs.

Scientists believe that many birds of this species in the region ensured the evolution of a smooth transition to modern birds. It is worth noting that the Chinese government strongly supports research in the region and all of the archaeological expedition. Built in Liaoning and other provinces of China allow you to fill in evolutionary gaps and build the evolutionary path followed by the animals, until the conquest of the heavens.

Maybe that’s why in Chinese folklore so many flying dinosaurs.