Employees of the American Museum of Natural History found a small fossil reptile in the Triassic sediments of Madagascar: it belongs to the group from which the giant dinosaurs and pterosaurs descended. This was reported by the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The buried animal, no more than ten centimeters high, was called Kongonaphon kely or “the tiny killer of beetles.” According to scientists, the new animal is close in lifetime to the place where the branches of dinosaurs and pterosaurs diverge.
Previously, it was believed that all early archosaurs had a larger group of reptiles, their body size was approximately the same at first, and then they began to grow. However, it has now become clear that these living beings have evolved not only towards enlargement but also towards decrease.
Judging by the wear of the teeth of a new species, the creature was fed by insects. Perhaps the evolutionary decrease and lack of meat in the diet, for which there was serious competition among large predators, allowed the small ancestors of dinosaurs and pterosaurs to occupy a niche convenient for evolution.