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Longisquama insignis

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Longisquama insignis
Longisquama insignis, an extinct species of archosauriform reptile that lived in the Triassic period, specifically in the Carnian period, around 230 million years ago. It was discovered in the Karatau region of Kazakhstan and is known for its unusual and remarkable features, which have sparked debates among paleontologists about its classification and its importance in reptile evolution.

The most distinctive feature of Longisquama insignis is the elongated, feathered structures that extend from its back. These structures have been interpreted as "proto-feathers" or filamentous, feather-like appendages. Although the exact interpretation of these structures is still under debate, they have led to speculation about Longisquama's relationship to the ancestors of birds and feathered dinosaurs.

Longisquama's body was relatively small, about 15 centimeters in length, and it had a quadrupedal stance. Its skull was triangular and had a series of conical teeth in its jaw, indicating that it may have had an insectivorous diet.

The importance of Longisquama insignis lies in its potential role in the discussion about the origin of feathers and its relationship with birds and other feathered dinosaurs. Some scientists have suggested that Longisquama's filamentous structures could be precursors to feathers, supporting the idea of an evolutionary connection between archosauriforms and birds. However, this interpretation is controversial and is still being investigated in the scientific community.

Approximate measurements of the Longisquama:
  • Scale 1:1 - 100mm