Volaticotherium antiquum was an actively mobile ancient gliding insectivorous mammal that lived in what would become China during the Jurassic period, around 164 mya. It was the only member of the genus Volaticotherium.
It had a gliding membrane similar to a modern-day flying squirrel. The teeth of Volaticotherium were highly specialized for eating insects, and its limbs were adapted to living in trees. The gliding membrane (patagium) was insulated by a thick covering of fur, and was supported by the limbs as well as the tail. The discovery of Volaticotherium provided the earliest-known record of a gliding mammal (70 million years older than the next oldest example), and provided further evidence of mammalian diversity during the Mesozoic Era.
The only known fossil of Volaticotherium was recovered from the Daohugou Beds of Ningcheng County, Inner Mongolia, China. The age of the Daohugou Beds is currently uncertain and the subject of debate, but most studies suggest an age of around 165 to 160 million years ago. The description was published in an issue of the journal Nature.
A Volaticotherium glides from tree to tree in the middle of the night. A pair of Guanlong hunt in the night when they find the Volaticotherium. He glides away above the lake and a sleeping Mamenchisaurus. It glides back and lands on the Guanlong’s face. The Mamenchisaurus wakes up and walks away. The Volaticotherium escapes from the Guanlongs which fall into the lake and are killed by some crocodiles.