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A fossil unearthed in northeastern China of a feathered dinosaur a bit bigger than a blue jay that possessed bat-like wings represents a remarkable but short-lived detour in the evolution of flight and the advent of birds, scientists said on Wednesday.

The dinosaur, named Ambopteryx longibrachium, lived 163 million years ago during the Jurassic Period and took flight with membranous wings made of skin supported by a long, pointed wrist bone, dramatically different from the distinctive feathered wings of birds.

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