Yi qi – China, Late Jurassic (160 million years ago), described 2015
This astonishing, 60-cm long dinosaur left experts gobsmacked when it was announced in April.
A single fossil reveals that its very long fingers had a membrane of skin stretched between them, and attached to its body. This gave it wings akin to those of a bat, as well as a body covered in downy fluff, and ribbon-like feathers on its tail. Xi qi (‘ee-chee’) means ‘strange wing’. (Image credit: Dinostar Co. Ltd)
VIDEO: Birds evolved from dinosaurs – but it wasn’t a smooth transition. Plenty of creatures tried different ways to get into the air, such as this newly discovered species, unearthed in China’s Liaoning province. This pigeon-sized animal had elongated fingers that held a membrane wing, more like a bat than a bird. In the Nature Video below, experts look at what makes this fossil so special, and consider what this dinosaur may have looked like (Credit: Nature Video).