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Unenlagia Comahuensis See map

It is the ancestor of the oldest flying bird known. Its name (in Mapuche language) means something like "half bird of the Comahue" and its fossils were found by paleontologist Fernando Novas in the place Portezuelo, on the border between Cutral Có and Zapala.

The creature is curious to our eyes because it was a reptile with feathers and tips that were almost wings. For scientists, the finding adds another contribution to the confirmation that the carnivorous dinosaurs turned into birds.

The Unenlagia Comahuensis was covered with feathers that allowed him to regulate his body temperature and it had practically lost the upper limb thou they were in an advanced state of atrophy and metamorphosis.

Unlike the Achaeopteryx (the creature whose remains were found in Europe in a state in which virtually ceased to be dinosaur) the Unenlagia had a feathered tail and was adapted for flight. The proto wings or wings were not fallen and withered arms of carnivores and not authentic pieces of flight as in birds. Its use was restricted to the race and as an instrument of balance, that is, like a plane in constantly taxiing moved with long strides.

As an adult the Unenlagia reached 2,30 meters long and about 1,20 meters from the floor to its head, it walked leaning only its toes, which were endowed with a sharp claw on one finger. The claw was a deadly weapon: with it he could tear its victims in a single blow.

This animal inhabited the region about ninety million years ago in the Upper Cretaceous period. Its bones, found in 1997 in Portezuelo were presented in the following year in the U.S. by Novas. The pieces, in law enforcement protection and preservation of governing in Neuquén, returned to the region and included the collection of the Carmen Funes Museum in Plaza Huincul.

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