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Longisquama insignis
Topic Started: Apr 24 2013, 05:27 AM (1,770 Views)
Ausar
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Deathless Decepticon since '12
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Longisquama insignis

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Temporal range: Middle or Late Triassic

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Subclass: Diapsida
Incertae sedis: incertae sedis
Genus: †Longisquama
Type species: †Longisquama insignis

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Longisquama is an extinct genus of lizard-like reptile. There is only one species, Longisquama insignis, known from a poorly preserved skeleton and several incomplete fossil impressions from the Middle to Late Triassic Madygen Formation in Kyrgyzstan. It is known from a type fossil specimen; slab and counterslab (PIN 2548/4 and PIN 2584/5), and five referred specimens of possible integumentary appendages (PIN 2584/7 through 9). All specimens are in the collection of the Paleontological Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Longisquama means "long scales"; the specific name insignis refers to its small size. The Longisquama holotype is notable for a number of long structures that appear to grow from its skin. These structures have been interpreted as either primitive feathers suggesting Longisquama is a close relative of birds, or as feather-like structures that have evolved independently and do not indicate a close relationship with birds. Longisquama has been used in a heavily publicized debate on of the origin of birds. To some, Longisquama is the gliding, cold-blooded, protobird predicted by Gerhard Heilmann's hypothetical "Proavis" in 1927, and it proves that birds are not dinosaurs. The current opinion is that Longisquama is an ambiguous diapsid and has no bearing on the origin of birds.
Edited by Taipan, Jun 4 2013, 08:48 PM.
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Scalesofanubis
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I forgot about these guys. Seeing a profile for them makes me unreasonably happy. Possibly because I'm over tired.
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Ausar
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Just wondering, is there anyone here who believes Longisquama is the ancestor to birds (I myself believe it went extinct leaving no descendants)?
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Scalesofanubis
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Personally, I think it's probably closish to the ancestry of archaeosaurs in general, which would put it in the same general lineage as birds, but I don't think it is the ancestor of birds directly.
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