Dinosaurs

Scientists have discovered a tiny bat-like dinosaur

A tiny-bat like dino
A 3-D reconstruction of Ambopteryx longibrachium. Image: Min Wang, Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Scientists have found new evidence that bat-like dinosaurs once fluttered through the skies.

What's new: A tiny dinosaur with membranous, bat-like wings lived during the Upper Jurassic period, according to a study in Nature on Wednesday. A fossil of the species — named Ambopteryx longibrachium — was found in northeastern China's Liaoning Province and dated to around 163 million years ago, bolstering the conclusions of a 2015 study detailing a less well-preserved but similar fossil finding called Yi qi. The specimen in the new study, by Min Wang and colleagues from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is superbly preserved — researchers were even able to glean information from its stomach contents.

"Amazing dragon" dinosaur discovery in China alters species' timeline

An artist's rendering of new dinosaur Lingwulong shenqi
An artist's rendering of Lingwulong shenqi. Credit: Zhang Zongda

Newly excavated 174-million-year-old fossils in northwest China are a new dinosaur species named Lingwulong shenqi — or "amazing dragon of Lingwu" — that roamed the supercontinent of Pangea, a new study found.

The big picture: The study, published this week in Nature Communications, details the oldest diplodocoid — massive sauropod dinosaurs with long necks and tails — ever found. It also pushes back estimates of their evolution by 15 million years.