Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Fast-flying fungal spores
Growing Healthier Tomato Plants
Poison Dart Frogs
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
Color-Changing Bugs
How to Fly Like a Bat
A Global Warming Flap
Babies Prove Sound Learners
The Disappearing Newspaper
Chemistry and Materials
A Framework for Growing Bone
Mother-of-Pearl on Ice
Earth-Friendly Fabrics
Earth from the inside out
Middle school science adventures
Programming with Alice
Dinosaurs and Fossils
Big Fish in Ancient Waters
Fossil Forests
Some Dinos Dined on Grass
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Weird, new ant
Deep Drilling at Sea
Challenging the Forces of Nature
Plant Gas
Bald Eagles Forever
Forests as a Tsunami Shield
Finding the Past
Big Woman of the Distant Past
Preserving Ancient Warrior Paint
Words of the Distant Past
Manta Rays
Food and Nutrition
The Essence of Celery
Making good, brown fat
Packing Fat
GSAT English Rules
Finding Subjects and Verbs
Order of Adjectives
Whoever vs. Whomever
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Scotiabank Jamaica Foundation Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarships
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Preparing for the GSAT Exam
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Human Body
Tapeworms and Drug Delivery
Flu Patrol
Remembering Facts and Feelings
Walking Sticks
Sea Anemones
African Zebra
Children and Media
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
How children learn
Road Bumps
The Mirror Universe of Antimatter
The Particle Zoo
Stalking Plants by Scent
Bright Blooms That Glow
When Fungi and Algae Marry
Garter Snakes
Space and Astronomy
Older Stars, New Age for the Universe
Evidence of a Wet Mars
Saturn's Spongy Moon
Technology and Engineering
Model Plane Flies the Atlantic
Dancing with Robots
Weaving with Light
The Parts of Speech
Problems with Prepositions
What is a Noun
Adjectives and Adverbs
Reach for the Sky
Robots on a Rocky Road
Are Propellers Fin-ished?
Either Martians or Mars has gas
Catching Some Rays
Earth's Poles in Peril
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Tiny Pterodactyl

Imagine a creature that's a cross between a dinosaur and a bird and you'll have a good idea of what a pterodactyl looked like. These ancient creatures were reptiles, but they flew. In fact, they were probably the first vertebrates to fly. Pterodactyls could be huge. Some had wingspans that measured up to 10 meters (33 feet). But now, researchers working in northeastern China have found evidence of an extremely small pterodactyl. The animal's wingspan measured just 25 centimeters (10 inches). The creature was about the size of a house sparrow. The tiny pterodactyl has been named Nemicolopterus crypticus, which means "hidden flying forest dweller." The animal had no teeth. And it lived 120 million years ago, say the scientists who found the fossil. They work at the National Museum of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. The scientists found the fossil buried in rocks. Other fossils found in these same rocks indicate that the region used to be at the bottom of a lake in a heavily forested area. Many of the bones in the animal's feet were strongly curved. That suggests that N. crypticus spent a lot of time grasping tree limbs, says lead researcher Alexander W.A. Kellner. On the basis of the size of its skull bones, the researchers could tell that the animal was not fully grown. They don't know how much bigger it might have become. But, Kellner says, "even if it were doubled in size, it would still be the smallest pterosaur yet found."—Emily Sohn

Tiny Pterodactyl
Tiny Pterodactyl

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