Prehistoric flyer

Published: Thursday 15 August 1996

A recent discovery of the 26 million year old fossil of Eomys quercyi , in Enspel, Germany, has revealed that it was a four-inch long gliding animal with a membrane, similar to that of flying squirrels. The elbow on the E quercyi's forelimb had a bony spur which is common to flying squirrels. It extended and supported the membrane like a kite, thus enabling it to sail through the air. Previously, only the teeth and jaw fragments of this ancient rodent had been unearthed. Now scientists have the complete skeleton for the first time, shedding new light on the species ( Discover , Vol 17, No 6).

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