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 … [Read more…]
The word ‘dinosaur’ conjures images of a massive T. rex or a stoic Stegosaurus, both members of a group that died out around 66 million years ago. But what if that wasn’t the case? The new book Flying Dinosaurs: How fearsome reptiles became birds challenges the widely held belief that there are no more dinosaurs … [Read more…]
Do you have backyard chooks? Have you ever looked at them and wondered if they were dinosaurs? New discoveries has found the humble chook, and it’s bird brothers, are closely related to dinosaurs. John Pickrell is the author of Flying Dinosaurs and ABC Central West Presenter Kia Handley spoke with him about this incredible connection
The earliest specimen of Archaeopteryx – the ‘first bird’ – was discovered in 1861 and was recognised as a missing link between reptiles and birds. Though they are incredibly important fossils, Archaeopteryx specimens have been very hard to come by. Since 1861 only 11 full body specimens (most missing their skulls), and one lone … [Read more…]
In the early stages of evolving flight, feathered dinosaurs tried an interesting experiment: they developed four wings. These small dinosaurs – such as Microraptor, Anchiornis and Xiaotingia – had long flight feathers on their hind limbs as well as their fore limbs, and they had long bony tails, similarly replete with large feathers. It appears … [Read more…]
I stopped by for a chat last night about Flying Dinosaurs with Scott Bevan and Laetitia Lemke on ABC News 24.
Microraptor gui China, Early Cretaceous (110–120 million years ago), described 2003 Hundreds of specimens of several similar species of this four-winged flier have been found in Liaoning. Studies revealed these animals had feathers that were blue-black with an iridescent sheen, similar to a crow, and serrations in their teeth suggest that fish were part of … [Read more…]