Temporal range: Mid to Late Triassic,
|Unrecognized taxon ():||Kongonaphon|
Kammerer et al., 2020
Kongonaphon is an early member of the dinosaur–pterosaur clade Ornithodira. It is a small reptile-type fossil found in the Middle to Late Triassic of Madagascar. It was probably an insectivore, based on the shape and texture of its teeth.
Kongonaphon is notable for its tiny size, even compared to other small early avemetatarsalia. The femur was only about 4 cm (1.6 inches) long, and the total height of the animal was about 10 cm (3.9 inches).
It has long been thought that early members of the group were small. If they were as small as this, then a miniaturization event occurred near the base of the avian stem lineage. Also the small size explains the origin of body covering ("integument", hair on the body of dinosaurs and feathers on birds). Tiny creatures are most vulnerable to changes in external temperature.
References[change | change source]
- Kammerer, Christian F.; Nesbitt, Sterling J.; Flynn, John J.; Ranivoharimanana, Lovasoa; Wyss, André R. (2020). "A tiny ornithodiran archosaur from the Triassic of Madagascar and the role of miniaturization in dinosaur and pterosaur ancestry". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. doi:10.1073/pnas.1916631117. ISSN 0027-8424.