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Thoracopterus magnificus.JPG
Thoracopterus magnificus
Scientific classification

Bronn, 1858

Thoracopterus is an extinct genus of over water gliding bony fish. It was common to the late Triassic period. [1]

The Triassic is a geologic period and system which spans 50.6 million years from the end of the Permian Period 251.9 million years ago (Mya), to the beginning of the Jurassic Period 201.3 Mya. The Triassic is the first and shortest period of the Mesozoic Era. Both the start and end of the period are marked by major extinction events.

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Therapsid Order of tetrapods (fossil)

Therapsida is a group of synapsids that includes mammals and their ancestors. Many of the traits today seen as unique to mammals had their origin within early therapsids, including having their four limbs extend vertically beneath the body, as opposed to the sprawling posture of reptiles. The earliest fossil attributed to Therapsida is Tetraceratops insignis from the Lower Permian.

Actinistia subclass of fishes

Actinistia is a subclass of mostly fossil lobe-finned fishes. This subclass contains the coelacanths, including the two living species of coelacanths, both of the genus Latimeria: the West Indian Ocean coelacanth and the Indonesian coelacanth.

Nothosaur order of Mesozoic aquatic reptiles

Nothosaurs were Triassic marine sauropterygian reptiles that may have lived like seals of today, catching food in water but coming ashore on rocks and beaches. They averaged about 3 metres (10 ft) in length, with a long body and tail. The feet were paddle-like, and are known to have been webbed in life, to help power the animal when swimming. The neck was quite long, and the head was elongated and flattened, and relatively small in relation to the body. The margins of the long jaws were equipped with numerous sharp outward-pointing teeth, indicating a diet of fish and squid.

Flying and gliding animals Animals that have evolved aerial locomotion

A number of animals have evolved aerial locomotion, either by powered flight or by gliding. Flying and gliding animals have evolved separately many times, without any single ancestor. Flight has evolved at least four times, in the insects, pterosaurs, birds, and bats. Gliding has evolved on many more occasions. Usually the development is to aid canopy animals in getting from tree to tree, although there are other possibilities. Gliding, in particular, has evolved among rainforest animals, especially in the rainforests in Asia where the trees are tall and widely spaced. Several species of aquatic animals, and a few amphibians and reptiles have also evolved to acquire this gliding flight ability, typically as a means of evading predators.

<i>Kuehneosaurus</i> Genus of reptiles

Kuehneosaurus is an extinct genus of Late Triassic kuehneosaurid reptile known from the Late Triassic Penarth Group of southwest England and the Steinmergel Group of Luxemburg. It was named by P. L. Robinson in 1962 and the type and only species is Kuehneosaurus latus. Measuring 72 centimetres long, it had "wings" formed from ribs which jutted out from its body by as much as 14.3 cm, connected by a membrane which allowed it to slow its descent when jumping from trees. It is a member of a family of gliding reptiles, the Kuehneosauridae, within the larger group Lepidosauromorpha, which also contains modern lizards and tuatara.

Pachypleurosaur family of Mesozoic aquatic reptiles

Pachypleurosaurs were primitive sauropterygian reptiles that vaguely resembled aquatic lizards, and were limited to the Triassic period. They were elongate animals, ranging in size from 20 cm to about a metre in length, with small heads, long necks, paddle-like limbs, and long deep tails. The limb girdles are greatly reduced, so it is unlikely these animals could move about on land. The widely spaced peg-like teeth project at the front of the jaws, indicate that these animals fed on fish.

<i>Cymbospondylus</i> genus of reptiles (fossil)

Cymbospondylus was a basal early ichthyosaur that lived between the middle and later years of the Triassic period. Previously, the genus was classified as a shastasaurid, however, more recent work finds it to be more basal.

<i>Pholidophorus</i> genus of fishes (fossil)

Pholidophorus is an extinct genus of teleost fish from the Triassic and Jurassic periods of Africa, Europe, and South America.

<i>Megalancosaurus</i> genus of reptiles (fossil)

Megalancosaurus is a genus of extinct reptile from the Late Triassic Dolomia di Forni Formation and Zorzino Limestone of northern Italy, and one of the best known drepanosaurids. The type species is M. preonensis; a translation of the animal's scientific name would be "long armed reptile from the Preone Valley."

<i>Ceratodus</i> genus of fishes

Ceratodus was a wide-ranging genus of extinct lungfish. Fossil evidence dates back to the Late Triassic 227 million years ago. A wide range of fossil species from different time periods have been found around the world in places such as the United States, Argentina, Greenland, England, Germany, Egypt, Madagascar, China, and Australia. Ceratodus is believed to have become extinct sometime around the beginning of the Eocene Epoch. The closest living relative of Ceratodus is thought to be the Queensland lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri, which means "new Ceratodus" in Greek.

<i>Mecistotrachelos</i> genus of reptiles

Mecistotrachelos is an extinct genus of gliding reptile believed to be an archosauromorph, distantly related to crocodylians and dinosaurs. The type and only known species is M. apeoros. This specific name translates to "soaring longest neck", in reference to its gliding habits and long neck. This superficially lizard-like animal was able to spread its lengthened ribs and glide on wing-like membranes. Mecistotrachelos had a much longer neck than other gliding reptiles of the Triassic such as Icarosaurus and Kuehneosaurus. It was probably an arboreal insectivore.

Dinosauriformes taxon of reptiles

Dinosauriformes is a clade of archosaurian reptiles that include the dinosaurs and their most immediate relatives. All dinosauriformes are distinguished by several features, such as shortened forelimbs and a partially to fully perforated acetabulum, the hole in the hip socket traditionally used to define dinosaurs. The oldest known member is Asilisaurus, dating to about 245 million years ago in the Anisian age of the middle Triassic period.

<i>Piveteauia</i> genus of fishes

Piveteauia is an extinct genus of prehistoric coelacanth fish which lived during the Lower Triassic period. The genus is named for twentieth century French vertebrate paleontologist Jean Piveteau. The type specimen was discovered in the Middle Sakamena Group in northwestern Madagascar by French paleoichthyologist Jean-Pierre Lehman.

<i>Dyoplax</i> genus of reptiles

Dyoplax is an extinct genus of pseudosuchian archosaur, possibly an erpetosuchid. Fossils have been found from the type locality within the upper Schilfsandstein Formation in Stuttgart, Germany. The holotype specimen was a natural cast of a nearly complete skeleton that lacked only parts of the tail and limb bones.

Euscolosuchus is an extinct genus of suchian closely related to crocodylomorphs. Fossils have been found from the Tomahawk Creek Member of the Turkey Branch Formation outcropping in east-central Virginia. The locality from which the material was found dates back to the early Carnian stage of the Late Triassic, based on palynological studies. These strata are known for the abundance of fossil material belonging to tetrapod vertebrates in relation to other sites of the Newark Supergroup in the Richmond Basin that generally lack such material. The site is unique among others in the supergroup and closely resembles localities in the southern hemisphere, as is suggested by the presence of numerous fossils of traversodont cynodonts found from the area. Other tetrapods present include procolophonians, chiniquodontids, and sphenodonts.

Sangusaurus is an extinct genus of large, non-mammalian synapsid with two recognized species: S. edentatus and S. parringtonii. Sangusaurus is named after the Sangu stream in eastern Zambia near to where it was first discovered + ‘saur’ which is the Greek root for lizard. Sangusaurus fossils have been recovered from the upper parts of the Ntawere Formation in Zambia and of the Lifua Member of the Manda Beds in Tanzania. The earliest study considered Sangusaurus a kannemeyeriid dicynodont, but more recent phylogenetic analyses place Sangusaurus within the stahleckeriid clade of Dicynodontia. Until recently, little work had been done to describe Sangusaurus, likely due to the fact that only four incomplete fossil specimens have been discovered.

<i>Lumkuia</i> genus of mammals

Lumkuia is an extinct genus of probainognathian cynodonts. It is the earliest and most basal known member of Probainognathia, with fossils being found from the Cynognathus Assemblage Zone of the Beaufort Group in the South African Karoo Basin that date back to the early Middle Triassic. Lumkuia is not as common as other cynodonts from the same locality such as Diademodon and Trirachodon. Previously, early probainognathians were only known from younger strata in South America that were deposited in the late Middle and Late Triassic. The genus has been placed in its own family, Lumkuiidae.

<i>Ptychoceratodus</i> genus of fishes

Ptychoceratodus is an extinct genus of prehistoric sarcopterygians or lobe-finned fish. It was a lungfish from the Early Triassic period.

<i>Paratypothorax</i> genus of reptiles

Paratypothorax is an extinct genus of aetosaur, known by one species, Paratypothorax andressi. It was first named in 1985 from specimens collected from the Lower Stubensandstein in Germany and was also noted to be present in the Chinle Group of the southwestern United States in both the Dockum and Chinle Formations, which are latest Carnian and Rhaetian in age, respectively. The genus was described from osteoderms that were initially referred to the phytosaur Belodon kappfi. Material from Paratypothorax has also been reported from the Norian-age Fleming Fjord Formation in Greenland.

<i>Potanichthys</i> species of fish (fossil)

Potanichthys is a fossil genus of flying or gliding fish found in deposits in China dating to the Ladinian age of the Middle Triassic epoch. However, the fossil is not related to modern flying fish, which evolved independently about 66 million years ago. It is classified under the extinct family Thoracopteridae of the order Perleidiformes. It contains only one species, Potanichthys xingyiensis.


  1. Tintori, Andrea; Sassi, Davide (1992). "Thoracopterus Bronn (Osteichthyes: Actinopterygii): A Gliding Fish from the Upper Triassic of Europe". Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology. 12 (3): 265–283. doi:10.1080/02724634.1992.10011459. JSTOR   4523452.
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