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New pterosaur species a ‘hodgepodge’ of parts

A newly discovered pterosaur is an amalgamation of parts from more primitive forms of the species.

Scientists at the U.K.’s University of Leicester initially saw images of the flying reptile fossils earlier this year, and “our first thought was, Oh dear, it looks like a fake,” said study co-author David Unwin.

That’s because the 160-million-year-old creature has the big head of its descendants, while the rest of its body—including its very long tail—seems cobbled together from more primitive forms of the predators.

But later studies of more than 20 fossil skeletons, unearthed from an ancient lakebed in northeast China, convinced the team that the crow-size pterosaur was a real find.

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