By the end of the Jurassic period, most primitive species of the order Pterosaurs became extinct. But one lineage of the order evolved rather quickly into pterodactyloids, and managed to survive.
These were some of the largest creatures ever to take to the skies, says University of South Florida paleontologist Brian Andres.
A 162.7 million-year-old fossil of the oldest pterodactyloid species unearthed in northwest China sheds light on how such species adapted to their environments.
Chris Sloan, formerly with National Geographic and now president of media company Science Visualization, first spotted the fossil in 2001.