Icarosaurus

800px-Icarosaurus_copy

Icarosaurus (meaning “Icarus lizard”) is an extinct genus of kuehneosaurid reptile from the Late Triassic (Carnian age) Lower Lockatong Formation of New Jersey, dated to around 228 million years ago. It is closely related to lizards and the tuatara. Based on a partial skeleton missing part of the tail, some ribs, a hand, and parts of the legs, it was a small animal, about 10 centimeters (4 in) long from the skull to the hips. Like its relative Kuehneosaurus, it was able to glide short distances using ‘wings’ consisting of highly elongated ribs covered with skin, with the upper surface convex and the lower surface concave, thus creating a simple airfoil structure well-suited to gliding. This method of gliding is also seen in Coelurosauravus and the modern Draco, neither of which are closely related to Icarosaurus.

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