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Volaticotherium
Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Mammalia
Order Eutriconodonta
Family Triconodontidae
Genus Volaticotheriidae
1st Species Volaticotherium antiquum
Other attributes
Time Range 164 mya
Location China
Name Meaning Flying beast
Physical Dimensions 30.5 centimeters long
Dietary Classification Carnivore

Volaticotherium is a volaticotheriid eutriconodont mammal from the Late Jurassic of China. It was named in 2006 by Jin Meng and his crew. It was another unique, specialized Mesozoic mammal, and was the first gliding mammal to exist.

PhysiologyEdit

Volaticotherium resembled the modern flying squirrel. It had a slender body, 4 semi-erect legs (with a large flap of skin connecting each foreleg to each hind leg), a long, flat tail, and a mid-sized head with small jaws. Its body would have been covered in fur.

DietEdit

Volaticotherium was a predator, preying on insects and lizards. Its teeth had long, curved, backwards-facing points, which were used for shearing flesh.

EcologyEdit

On the sides of Volaticotherium's body were large, membranous flaps of skin that stretched all the way from its forelimbs to its hindlimbs; this allowed it to glide from tree to tree in a similar manner to modern flying squirrels and sugar gliders. As well as this, its tail was flat, and had increased the lift generated during gliding. Along with this, its limbs were long, and its feet had grasping toes; this allowed the eutriconodont to scramble across the branches of its arboreal habitat. In general, Volaticotherium would have been another unique and specialized mammalian animal to live during the time of the dinosaurs; other mammalians as unique as it included the hypercarnivorous Repenomamus, the fossorial Fruitafossor, and its contemporary, the aquatic Castorocauda.

In popular cultureEdit

Volaticotherium was featured in the 3rd episode of the 2011 documentary Dinosaur Revolution, where it was shown as a nocturnal gliding animal that fed on flying insects. As well as this, a pair of Guanlong tried to prey on it, but it escaped them.

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