Flying fish fossils that date back to the Middle Triassic period, 235-242 million years ago have been discovered by Chinese researchers. The fossils, which provide the earliest evidence of vertebrate over-water gliding strategy. represent new evidence that marine ecosystems re-established more quickly than previously thought after the Permian mass extinction, which wiped out 90-95% of marine species. The flying fish, named Potanichthys xingyiensis, was 153mm long and had the “unusual combination of morphological features” associated with gliding strategy in fishes. The fossils show an asymmetrical, forked tail fin and a “four-winged” body formation, with a pair of enlarged pectoral fins forming “primary wings”, and a smaller pair of pelvic fins acting as “auxiliary wings”. according to the study. The new research, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B Journal, was carried out by scientists from Peking University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Zhejiang Museum of Natural History. The fossils were discovered in Guizhou province, south-west China, and represent the first record of the extinct Thoracopteridae family of fishes to be found in Asia. Full story here.