The gang discusses two papers about unique adaptations in the fossil record, the first is a paper about pterosaurs that have opposable thumbs and the second paper talks about burrowing synapsids. Meanwhile, Discord is silencing James, Amanda fact checks, and Curt messes everything up…. like EVERYTHING.
Up-Goer Five (Amanda Edition):
Today our friends look at some things that make very old animals that are not close to other animals look like those other animals. First our friends talk about an animal that had a very long ring finger with long skin on it and could fly. This is a pretty early animal that had a very long ring finger with long skin on it. People have thought that maybe animals that had a very long ring finger with long skin on it lived in trees. A new animal was found that had a first finger that can move across from the others, like people have on their hands. This means that this animal that had a very long ring finger with long skin on it could grab onto trees and hold them, which means they probably did live in trees. The second paper our friends look at looked at very old animals that had hair. Some of these are not even really animals that have hair like the ones that live today, because the three hard pieces inside the ear are not all the way in there yet. But these animals that had hair had some things that are like each other, because they had very big hands with heavy hard pieces in them that means they move in the ground. They push the ground around and are found under it. These are the oldest kinds of animals with hair that do this, and they also do some strange things with their hard bits that make up their back. This might be a thing that animals with hair living under the ground just do.
Zhou, Xuanyu, et al. "A new darwinopteran pterosaur reveals arborealism and an opposed thumb." Current Biology (2021).
Mao, Fangyuan, et al. "Fossoriality and evolutionary development in two Cretaceous mammaliamorphs." Nature (2021): 1-6.