The Evening Standard

Monkeydactyl: New Jurassic flying reptile reveals the oldest opposed thumb

April 13, 2021

A 160-million-year-old pterosaur, dubbed ‘Monkeydactyl’, has the oldest true opposed thumb - a new structure previously not known in the species.

An international team of researchers published their work in Current Biology and say the new Jurassic pterosaur was discovered in Liaoning, China.

It’s a small-bodied darwinopteran pterosaur, with an estimated wingspan of 85 cm. 

It was preserved with an opposed thumb on both hands.

It represents the earliest record of a true opposed thumb in Earth’s history.

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