Published on October 5th, 2022 | by Liz Martin-Silverstone0
Episode 145: Scleromochlus
Scleromochlus is an animal that has been known for over 100 years, and has been frequently suggested as being an ancestor to pterosaurs. It hails from the Late Triassic of Scotland, and there are fewer than 10 specimens known. Unfortunately the preservation of this small reptile means that it is very difficult to interpret. However, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and CT scanning, new evidence from Scleromochlus reveals new anatomical insights, and further supports Scleromochlus as a lagerpetid, the group most closely related to pterosaurs.
In this episode we discuss these new discoveries with the lead author of the study Dr Davide Foffa who is currently a postdoctoral fellow at Virginia Tech, though this work was part of his previous position at the National Museum of Scotland (NMS). This is part of a larger project looking at the Late Triassic ‘Elgin Fauna’ along with collaborators Richard Butler (University of Birmingham), Stig Walsh and Nick Fraser (NMS), Steve Brusatte (University of Edinburgh) and Paul Barrett (Natural History Museum, London).
This is based on this new paper: Foffa D, Dunne EM, Nesbitt SJ, Butler RJ, Fraser NC, Brusatte SL, Farnsworth A, Lunt DJ, Valdes PJ, Walsh S, and PM Barrett. 2022. Scleromochlus and the early evolution of Pterosauromorpha. Nature.