Ancient “Monkeydactyl” dinosaur bears the oldest known opposed thumbs

Artist's impression of Monkeydactyl, or Kunpengopterus antipollicatus

It’s a common view that opposable thumbs are a key feature that distinguishes us from most other species, but a flying reptile that clambered through the trees 160 million years ago isn’t one of them, according to analysis of a newly discovered species from the Jurassic era. Scientists have found that a small-bodied pterosaur dubbed “Monkeydactyl” is the oldest known example of a creature with opposed thumbs, which was seemingly an adaption for a life in the trees.

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Category: Biology, Science

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