Mongolia, Late Cretaceous (80–95 million years ago), described 2007
This species was discovered accidentally by Xu Xing while he was shooting a TV show in Inner Mongolia in 2005. Filming had to stop because he was so excited. The largest member of the parrot-beaked oviraptorosaur group – at 8 metres long and 4 metres tall – it was 35 times the size of the next largest member of the group. It has not been found directly with feather impressions, but is assumed to have had feathers because of its close relationship with known feathered species. It was the largest known animal ever to have had feathers until Yutyrannus was described in 2012. Massive nests and eggs likely to have belonged to Gigantoraptor have been found in similar Late Cretaceous deposits in Mongolia and China. At 45-centimetres long, the eggs are the largest known dinosaur eggs. Gigantoraptor (ji-GAN-to-RAP-tor) erlianensis means ‘giant plunderer from the Erlian Basin’.
Video courtesy of the BBC Earth YouTube Channel and originally from the fantastic Planet Dinosaur documentary series.