Icarosaurus (Greek for "Icarus lizard"); pronounced ICK-ah-roe-SORE-us
Woodlands of eastern North America
Late Triassic (230-200 million years ago)
Size and Weight:
About 4 inches long and 2-3 ounces
Small size; butterfly-like appearance
Named after Icarus--the figure from Greek myth who flew too close to the sun on his artificial wings--Icarosaurus was a hummingbird-sized gliding reptile of late Triassic North America, closely related to the contemporary European Kuehneosaurus and the earlier Coelurosauravus. Unfortunately, the tiny Icarosaurus (which was only distantly related to pterosaurs) was out of the mainstream of reptile evolution during the Mesozoic Era, and it and its inoffensive companions had all gone extinct by the start of the Jurassic period.