(Flying forest dweller).
Named By: Wang et al - 2008.
Classification: Chordata, Sauropsida, Pterosauria, Pterodactyloidea, Tapejaromorpha.
Species: N. crypticus (type).
Size: Just under twenty-five centimetre wingspan.
Known locations: China, Liaoning Province - Jiufotang Formation.
Time period: Aptian of the Cretaceous.
Fossil representation: One example of what is thought to be a sub-adult specimen.
is currently regarded as the smallest known pterosaur,
and it is almost
inconceivable from looking at it that on the other end of the pterosaur
size scale would be giants like Quetzalcoatlus
wingspans of eleven meters. The curved claws of Nemicolopterus
that it could have perched upon branches in the tree canopy, and maybe
used them for climbing as well. By living in the tree canopy it could
avoid the majority of the predators of the time and would have used its
toothless beak to catch small insects, either in flight or plucking
them from the trees.
Since its discovery, it has been suggested that Nemicolopterus may actually represent the juvenile form of another pterosaur, most probably Sinopterus. These would fit with other juvenile forms of other pterosaurs that had a differing morphology and ecological niche to their adult kin. Only new fossil material from ideally both genera can resolve the issue without doubt.