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…]
Anzu wyliei – United States, Late Cretaceous (66 million years ago), described 2014 From the Hell Creek formation of the Dakotas, Anzu has been described by the Smithsonian Institution and Carnegie Museum scientists who found it as the ‘chicken from hell’ and a cross between an emu and a lizard. Only the second feathered … [Read more…]
I stopped by for a chat last night about Flying Dinosaurs with Scott Bevan and Laetitia Lemke on ABC News 24.
Archaeopteryx, the ‘first bird’, has fascinated people since the first mostly complete specimen was dug out of a quarry in Bavaria in 1861. Along with a number of other dinosaurs and early birds, researchers have now been able to look at the microstructural features of fossilised feathers of the animal, and determine that its … [Read more…]
Epidexipteryx hui China, Mid- to Late Jurassic (152–168 million years ago), described 2008 This odd pigeon-sized dinosaur found in China’s Inner Mongolia Province had a downy covering of fuzz for insulation and four long, ribbon-like feathers that emerged from its tail and were probably used for display. Weirder still were Epidexipteryx’s incredibly long fingers – … [Read more…]
Gigantoraptor erlianensis 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 … [Read more…]
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…]
Sinornithosaurus millenii China, Early Cretaceous (120–125 million years ago), described 1999 Around 1 metre long when fully grown, Sinornithosaurus was a small predatory dromaeosaur related to Deinonychus and Velociraptor. The first specimen was discovered by a team including Xu Xing in 1999 and became the fifth feathered species of dinosaur found in western Liaoning. The … [Read more…]